It’s been nearly sixteen years since Heather Nedohin stepped onto the ice at the Keystone Centre, in Brandon, Man., for the inaugural edition of the Canadian Curling Trials.
After leading her Alberta team to a gold medal at the 1996 World Junior Women’s Curling Championship, Nedohin was recruited to throw third stones for the Cathy King team that competed in the first Olympic qualifying event.
They would finish the round robin one win short of the playoffs at the Trials, where Saskatchewan’s Sandra Schmirler etched her name in Canadian sporting history by winning the country’s first Olympic gold medal in curling.
Nedohin is coming back to Manitoba, Dec. 1-8, at the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by Monsanto, in Winnipeg’s MTS Centre. It will be her second shot at Olympic glory, but this time with a lot more experience to back up her bid for an Olympic berth.
“It’s my first time competing at the Trials since 1997, but I was the alternate in 2009 with Shannon Kleibrink when we lost in the final,” said Nedohin. “I’ve also been there with Dave competing,” she said, referring to her husband who was an integral part of the Randy Ferbey team at the past three Roar of the Rings.
“I definitely think I can draw on all those experiences, whether it’s as a competitor or a fan. I’ve been through the whole process and I know what it takes.”
The 2012 season represented a major breakthrough for the Nedohin team, consisting of Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair and Laine Peters, highlighted by the gold medal at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and bronze at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship. The team’s success was accompanied by the all-important Canadian Team Ranking System points required to claim one of the early berths in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.
The skip, playing out of Edmonton’s Saville Centre, is feeling confident heading into the most prestigious event in Canadian curling. “We feel really good. We’ve just been sticking to our program of hard work and dedication, and hopefully it all comes together in the end.”
But Nedohin definitely isn’t taking anything for granted. “The calibre of play is just outstanding at the Trials. For curling fans in Winnipeg and Manitoba, and right across the country, I’d suggest they get their tickets early. They’ll see great shots across all four sheets… for both the men and the women. Every single draw is going to be entertaining.”
“You Gotta Be There” when Canada crowns its representatives for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The best seats in the MTS Centre are available now by clicking here.