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Featured Curling Athlete: Lisa Weagle

When Rachel Homan’s Ottawa curling team graduated from the junior ranks, it was on the lookout for an experienced lead who could immediately fit into the team dynamic.

As it turned out, Lisa Weagle was a natural choice.

Lisa Weagle (Photo Michael Burns)

Weagle had been a very competitive player, making five appearances at the Ontario junior women’s championship throwing second rocks for Lee Merklinger, a run that produced a pair of runner-up finishes.

Upon joining forces with Homan, third Emma Miskew and second Alison Kreviazuk, Weagle contributed to a first-year women’s team that made an immediate impact on the national curling scene.

During a splendid 2010-11 season, the Homan foursome captured the Ontario women’s championship and made the playoffs at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Charlottetown, finishing fourth after losing the bronze-medal game to Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey.

The team also went on to finish second to Jennifer Jones at the Grand Slam Players’ Championship in April 2011, proving that the Scotties performance was no fluke.

Weagle and her teammates fell just short in their bid for back-to-back Ontario titles, losing the provincial Scotties final to Tracy Horgan after going unbeaten through the round-robin.

Weagle, by the way, is in for a busy off-season. She works for Canadian Heritage as a communications advisor for Sport Canada, and will be in London this summer to provide communications support to Sport Canada during the Paralympic Summer Games.

Birthplace: Ottawa
Hometown: Ottawa
Curling Club: Ottawa Curling Club
Current Team: Team Rachel Homan
Position: Lead
Delivery: Right
Nickname: Lis. And a variety of Weagle-related nicknames.

Quick Hits with Lisa Weagle

Do you have any superstitions?
“On the road, (third) Emma Miskew and I watch Criminal Minds before bed. It gives me awful nightmares but we still do it every night. Criminal Minds always seems to be on TV but we’ve started bringing DVDs with us when we travel just to be on the safe side.”

Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart and my best friend Darren McEwen.”

If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“I’m not sure but it would definitely be a summer sport; I’m not crazy about Ottawa winters!”

If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Change the time clock rule to thinking time. Teams shouldn’t be penalized for throwing draws, especially when they’re down in a game and need to generate offence.”

What music, if any, do you like to listen to before a game?
“Pump-up music, anything upbeat.”

Favourite:
— Website? “www.teamhoman.com.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Large coffee, two milk.”
— Vacation destination? “Costa Rica.”
— Junk food? “Mini eggs.”

Do you have any pet peeves?
“Bad drivers!”

Person who had the most influence on your curling career. And why?
“Bruce Merklinger was my coach in juniors for six years and had a huge influence on my curling career. I also have my dad Ted to thank for instilling a strong work ethic in me as well as his endless dinner table discussions about curling strategy. I knew I was in for a long talk when he got the salt and pepper shakers involved…”

First thing on your Bucket List?
“More international travel! I’ve travelled a bit but there are so many exciting places in the world I’d love to visit.”

Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“I’m the only napper on the team — the girls make fun of me for it. When I’m not napping, we’re playing a game of some kind, usually hearts.”

Mixed doubles in the Olympics — thumbs up? Thumbs down? And why?
“Thumbs up. It’s kind of an odd concept but it’s good exposure for our sport. Plus who would turn down the opportunity to compete in the Olympics?”

One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I have a fishing licence.”

Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Any shot that I’m sweeping and the back end yells ‘just clean; it’s good!’ ”