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Female Athlete of the Week: Chelsea Carey

This week’s female Athlete of the Week is Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Chelsea Carey

Birthdate: Sept. 12, 1984
Birthplace: Winnipeg
Hometown: Winnipeg
Curling Club: Morden Curling Club, Fort Rouge Curling Club
Current Team: Team Carey
Position: Skip
Delivery: Right
Nickname: CC, Skipper, Chels

Getting to know Chelsea Carey

If you were handing out awards midway through the 2010-11 curling season, it would be hard to overlook Chelsea Carey in the Most Improved Team category.

The 26-year-old Winnipegger, along with teammates third Kristy Jenion, second Kristen Foster and lead Lindsay Titheridge, sits fifth on the Canadian Team Ranking System and third on the Asham World Curling Tour money list, and could find herself as the top seed for the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts, beginning later this month in Altona.

In addition to qualifying for the Canada Cup of Curling in December in Medicine Hat, Alta., Carey’s team also won its first AWCT Grand Slam victory, prevailing in the Manitoba Lotteries Women’s Curling Classic in their hometown of Winnipeg, beating Cathy Overton-Clapham in the final.

Carey also defended her title at the Manitoba Curling Tour championship on Jan. 10.

Curling has been a part of Carey’s life for as long as she can remember. Her dad Dan, who also serves as the team coach, won a Brier playing vice-skip for Vic Peters in 1992, so it was only natural that Chelsea would follow in his footsteps.

She showed promise at an early age, winning the Manitoba juvenile championship in 2000, and then going on to finish second at the 2001 Optimist International juvenile championship. Since then, she’s competed in a number of provincial championships, and won some major cashspiels along the way.

Off the ice, Carey, who graduated with Distinction from the University of Manitoba’s Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) program, was a volunteer in the media lounge at the 2008 Tim Hortons Brier, and in the past has served as a volunteer coach at the West Kildonan Curling Club’s youth program.

Quick Hits with Chelsea Carey

Do you have any superstitions?
“Little things — if I wear my hair or makeup a certain way and we win, I’ll often continue to wear it that way; or if we sit in certain spots in the car on the way to the rink and we win, we’ll sit in the same ones, or change it if we lose.”

Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Muhammad Ali (an amazing athlete, and an even better showman, with an incredible story), Tiger Woods (the most mentally tough athlete in history in my opinion; he amazes me), Wayne Gretzky (I’m a huge hockey fan, and he’s the best!).”

If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Maybe dance, although it’s difficult to be a ‘star’ there. I wish I’d started golfing at a younger age; I really love the sport now, so probably golf.”

If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Maybe the double-clutch rule; as far as I’m concerned, until you get to the hogline you can grab and release the rock as many times as you like.  I’m also a big fan of the thinking-time clocks, vs. the traditional time clocks.”

What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“Anything that gets me pumped up! Depending on my mood it could be anything from dance music to Eye of the Tiger. I mostly listen to classic rock, so probably most often some AC/DC or something along those lines.”

Favourite:
— Website? “www.teamcareycurling.com, www.facebook.com, www.textsfromlastnight.com, www.curlingzone.com,
— Order from Tim Hortons? “At the risk of sounding like a completely cliché Canadian, honestly, it’s a large double-double!”
— Vacation destination? “Whichever curling event I’m going to?? I don’t have any vacation time left after curling is done, so no vacations for me unfortunately.  I spend as much time as possible at the family cabin at Lake of the Woods in the summer, and if I did have extra time off I’d love to go back to Hawaii, or to Australia, New Zealand, or Europe.”
— Junk food? Ketchup potato chips . . . any potato chips, really. Or French fries. I’m a sucker for fatty salty foods!”

Do you have any pet peeves?
“Bad drivers!  Actually inconsiderate people in general.”

Three things you always travel with?
“My iPod, my laptop and two BlackBerries (yes, I have TWO, much to my chagrin).  Also, sweatpants and Burt’s Bees lipbalm.”

First thing on your Bucket List?
“Olympic gold.”

Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Unfortunately, it’s sometimes work; I always bring my laptop and I’ll take care of reports, etc., between games. Cards are good; poker, rummy, etc. We also usually bring a boardgame of some sort — Quelf, Cranium, something like that. Often we’ll watch TV or nap, so long as we have enough time to be awake two hours before the next game (as mandated by Coach Dan!)”

One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I am a pretty open book! Maybe that I graduated top five per cent of my class in university, or that I was a competitive dancer until I was 20. Some people might not know about my love for sports (besides curling, of course) and cars. I get some surprised looks when I go on rants about those topics!”

What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“It’s a bit of a paradox — everyone seems to think competitive curling is like beer league curling where you have drinks on the ice and such. They don’t realize the kind of shape we’re in and all the training involved, and just how seriously we take the game. At the same time, a lot of people think of curling as a sport for the boring and frumpy. Not true! Once the ’spiel is over, we know how to have some fun!

Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Maybe I shouldn’t say in case the other finalist reads this . . . oh, well, outturn hit. But really, I’d take any shot to win a gold medal!”