Cheryl Bernard lived the ultimate curling dream in the 2009 season, winning the women’s gold medal at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings and the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Olympic Games.
In Vancouver, she came within an extra-end of putting the final touches on a storybook ending, losing in the emotional gold-medal match to Sweden’s Anette Norberg.
Bernard will head up one of the 24 teams coming to Kitchener for the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar, presented by Monsanto, Nov. 5-10 with her sights set on a second shot at the most prestigious prize in the sporting world.
The Road to the Roar will determine the final two men’s and women’s teams that move on to Winnipeg in December for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by Monsanto – the final stepping stone on the four-year journey that leads to Sochi in 2014.
Bernard is clearly focused on a second appearance at the Olympics and the opportunity to stand on the top level of the podium at the medal presentation this time around. But she also understands the challenge that lies ahead.
“For sure I have extra motivation to get back, but the depth of women’s curling in Canada is amazing… it’s a bit scary. It can be any team’s week in any event. It’s really a matter of getting hot at the right time. But that’s why we compete and what makes it so much fun. I just can’t wait to get out there and start playing.
“But at times it gets to the point where you have to temper it. It’s a really long road ahead and all the teams have had the their eyes on the goal for the past couple of seasons. It’s hard to focus on the game at hand sometimes. I’m trying to take it not just one game at a time, but one shot at a time.”
The Bernard foursome, including third Susan O’Connor who shared the 2010 Olympic experience and front-enders Lori Olson-Johns and Shannon Aleksic, has taken a different approach to the new season with an increased emphasis on training.
“It’s an interesting year,” said the skip. “We’re playing a limited competitive schedule and focusing more on practice and training. It’s a different situation because you’re working to peak for the Pre-Trials and then the Trials… and then hopefully one more time after that.
“Training together as a team last year was tough with two of the girls (Olson-Johns and Aleksic) not being from Calgary and we were playing in so many events,” said Bernard. “This year we’ve been flying them in every second weekend and we do two full days of on-ice training.”
“You Gotta Be There” for the Capital One Road to the Roar in the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex. Tickets are available now by clicking here.