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Kitchener to stage Capital One Pre-Trials

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that the City of Kitchener will host the 2013 Capital One Pre-Trials, presented by Monsanto.

The ‘last chance’ event for teams to qualify for the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings (Canadian Curling Trials) will be held November 5-10 at the 6,000-seat Memorial Auditorium (The Aud).

Twelve men’s and 12 women’s teams will compete in the Capital One Pre-Trials, with two from each gender joining six already-qualified teams for the Trials, December 1-8, 2013 in Winnipeg, which will determine Canada’s representatives at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Kitchener to stage Capital One Pre-Trials

Kitchener to stage Capital One Pre-Trials

“We are excited to see that the final piece of the Olympic qualification system is now in place for our sport,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “In 2009, the CCA created the Pre-Trials as a lead up to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. It was wonderfully successful, and we have built this event to be an essential part of qualification towards Sochi, Russia in 2014.

“The Canadian Curling Association is honoured to have partnered with the City of Kitchener to host this prestigious event, and we look forward to bringing some fabulous curling to the community when the 2013 Capital One Pre-Trials arrives in November.”

TSN/RDS will provide comprehensive national television exposure, offering 18 hours of live coverage of the playoffs and finals.

“I was thrilled when I learned that Kitchener was selected to host the Canadian Curling Association’s 2013 Capital One Pre-Trials,” said Mayor Carl Zehr. “Kitchener is a city that is passionate about sport and we look forward to welcoming athletes, volunteers and visitors to our city and region.”

In 2009, the inaugural Pre-Trials were conducted in Prince George, British Columbia. At that time, four teams from each gender qualified for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Edmonton…on the men’s side, skips Jeff Stoughton, Pat Simmons, Jason Gunnlaugson and Wayne Middaugh qualified while on the women’s side Crystal Webster, Krista McCarville, Kelly Scott and Amber Holland advanced.

Overall, the Pre-Trials attracted 20,176 fans for the five-day, triple knockout event, provided an economic impact to Prince George of $4 million, along with national television exposure and a legacy which was directed to local and area curling initiatives.

The Trials were eventually won by Kevin Martin and Cheryl Bernard, who went on to capture gold and silver medals, respectively, at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

“We are excited to see this major curling event come to Kitchener,” said Host Committee Chair Cynthia Roth. “We have a strong curling community in the Twin Cities with our two clubs, the KW Granite and Westmount Golf & Country Club. Partnering with the City of Kitchener, in their newly expanded Auditorium, will provide a wonderful venue to showcase the talents of curling teams from across Canada. What a great opportunity this presents for our local curlers and fans to watch our athletes get one step closer to their Olympic dreams.”

Since curling became an official medal sport for both genders in 1998 in Nagano (Karuizawa), Japan, Canada has won two gold medals in men’s (Brad Gushue/Russ Howard in 2006 and Kevin Martin in 2010), along with silver medals in 1998 (Mike Harris) and 2002 (Kevin Martin). In women’s, Canada has captured one gold (Sandra Schmirler in 1998), one silver (Cheryl Bernard in 2010) and two bronze medals (Kelley Law in 2002, Shannon Kleibrink in 2006).

“Our commitment to curling extends to supporting our athletes as they prepare themselves for Sochi, Russia,” said Ian Cunningham, Chief Marketing Officer, Capital One Canada. “Kitchener’s curling community is thriving and is a great location to host next year’s Capital One Road to the Roar.”

“Monsanto Canada is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor and pleased to support the Capital One Road to the Roar, the people of Kitchener and the surrounding area as they welcome some outstanding curling teams, all hungry for the last four spots in the field for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings,” said Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada’s Public and Industry Affairs Director. “What could be more exciting than watching some of the best curling teams in the country trying to earn a chance to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympics.”

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones have already qualified for the 2013 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, by virtue of their wins in the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup last December in Cranbrook, British Columbia.

They’ll be joined by the CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) leaders for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, the winners of the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup in Moose Jaw, SK and the two CTRS leaders over a two-year period from 2011-2013, in addition to two teams of each gender qualifying from the Pre-Trials in Kitchener, which will be a triple knockout format leading to a modified Page Playoff system.

Kitchener has hosted a number of Canadian Curling Championships in past, including the 1962 and 1986 Briers and the 1994 and 2003 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Tickets for the Capital One Pre-Trials are expected to go on sale in the Fall of 2012.