Two of the most coveted berths in all of curling have been secured by four of Canada’s top curling teams. For the 2011 Canada Cup – November 30 – December 4 – in the Cranbrook Rec Plex and the 2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup – January 12 -15 – in the Langley Events Centre, the field already features four of the finest teams in the game.
Glenn Howard and Stefanie Lawton qualified for the two events based on their championship performances at the 2010 Canada Cup last December in Medicine Hat.
Amber Holland took the next spot after skipping her Saskatchewan rink to this year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts title in Charlottetown and Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton squad moved into the mix with a victory at London’s Tim Hortons Brier.
As a result, 16 championship athletes will make the unlikely transformation from fierce competitors to supportive teammates over the course of just a few weeks.
In the Canada Cup, the four teams will be going head-to-head in one of the most competitive fields of the year. Lawton and Holland will face off in the women’s section while Howard and Stoughton do battle on the men’s side. Each champion will also walk away with the first berth in the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings – the Canadian Curling Trials.
Just one month later, they’ll all join forces as part of a much larger team, wearing Team North America colours in the World Financial Group Continental Cup – an event that has become one of the benchmarks of excellence on the international curling scene. The four Canadian teams will be joined by two from the USA to round out the Team North America side, competing against a Team World contingent in a unique Ryder Cup-style format.
Excitement is already building for a brand new Season of Champions… starting off with two events that are becoming the most popular on the competitive curling circuit. For curling fans in British Columbia – and others in search of a pre-Christmas break in the Kootenays or a January visit to the lower mainland – there’s never been a better time to declare “I gotta be there”.
Tickets for both events are available online at seasonofchampions.ca.