This week’s female Athlete of the Week of Cathy Overton-Clapham of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Birthdate: July 19, 1969
Curling Club: Fort Rouge Curling Club
Current Team: Team Overton-Clapham
Nickname: Cathy O
Getting to know Cathy Overton-Clapham
She is one of the most decorated players in Manitoba women’s curling history, and now she’ll be getting her first opportunity to skip on the national stage.
After being cut from Jennifer Jones’s three-time reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship team in the off-season, Cathy Overton-Clapham had to scramble to find a new team for the 2010-11 curling season.
Evidently, she did just fine, as evidenced by the Manitoba Scotties title she captured on Jan. 30 by beating Chelsea Carey in the final.
But it should hardly have come as a surprise, as Cathy O has been around successful curling teams for her entire career, going back o her junior days when she won two Manitoba titles, along with the Canadian junior championship in 1989, earning all-star honours both times, and then bringing home a bronze medal from the 1990 world junior championship.
Since then, Overton-Clapham has been a fixture at the Tournament of Hearts, as she’ll be making her 12th appearance later this month at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.
Her 11 previous Hearts appearances have produced five Canadian championships (the first with Connie Laliberte in 1995; the other four with Jones, in 2005, ’08, ’09 and ’10), three first-team all-star awards, two second-team all-star awards and the Sandra Schmirler MVP award at the 2008 Scotties in Regina.
As well, Overton-Clapham won a world title with Jones in 2008, and earned a silver with Laliberte in 1995 and a bronze with Jones at last year’s Ford worlds in Swift Current, Sask.
Off the ice, Overton-Clapham has worked behind the scenes for curling, volunteering at the 1985 Tournament of Hearts, the ’91 worlds and two Briers in Winnipeg, in addition to coaching at the Whitecap Curling Academy in the Maritimes and the La Releve program for up-and-coming Canadian curlers.
Quick hits with Cathy Overton-Clapham
Do you have any superstitions?
“I have to sit in the front seat while driving to and from the rink; I got car-sick once and I get the front all the time now.”
Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“I can’t believe I only get to pick three! Ben Hebert, Kim Overton and Daryell Nowlan — it would be the funniest party ever because they are the funniest people I know.”
If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Rowing, because that’s what Marnie McBean did, and she’s one amazing person/athlete.”
If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Hmmm . . . I have to think about that one.”
What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“I don’t really listen to music before a game; I LOVE to talk.”
— Website? “Kids’ school site; it’s checked daily.”
— Vacation destination? “Right now my parents’ place in Arizona; I hope to have a favourite soon.”
— Junk food? “Hmmm . . . chips.”
Do you have any pet peeves?
“People who lie or who are not honest.”
Three things you always travel with?
“Phone, iPod, money.”
First thing on your Bucket List?
“A trip to Hawaii.”
Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Napping would be at the top of the list.”
One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I’m not sure there is anything; I tend to share everything.”
What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“Well, the fitness would be at the top of the list.”
Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Well, if there was a shot, that would be really exciting because that would mean we would be in the Olympics. So I guess anything, as long as there is a shot.”