South Korea to Ottawa!
Youth Olympians jet set to Ottawa to lead Newfoundland & Labrador teams at 2024 Canadian U-18’s
Young Canadian curlers have travelled far and wide to compete at the 2024 Canadian Under-18 Curling Championships in Ottawa. Still, none have covered as much ground as Cailey Locke and Simon Perry of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Locke and Perry travelled 28 hours from South Korea to the nation’s capital to skip their respective Newfoundland & Labrador teams. The duo are coming off the cusp of an opportunity of a lifetime and still riding the high of representing Canada in mixed doubles at the 2024 Youth Olympics. The team achieved a three-win and two-loss round-robin record and were just shy of qualifying for the playoffs following a one-point loss to the eventual gold-meal winners of Team Great Britain.
“It’s hard to describe. It’s been amazing by all means,” Locke said following Sunday’s opening ceremony at the Canadian U-18’s. “We were disappointed with our results, but we gave it our all and I hope that we made Canada proud. The experience was unbelievable, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
The duo arrived in Ottawa early Friday morning following Thursday’s closing ceremony at the Youth Olympics. After one day of rest, it was back on the ice at the RA Centre’s Curling Centre of Excellence and Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club for pre-event practices, followed by their first games of the event on Sunday.
Locke, 16, and her team of third Hayley Gushue, second Sitaye Penney, lead Marissa Gushue and coach Heather Martin of the RE/MAX Centre, St. John’s Curling Club, opened the event with an 8-3 win over Team British Columbia #2’s Team Megan Rempel of the Kelowna Curling Club on Sunday afternoon.
Perry, meanwhile, split a pair of games on opening day. The 17-year-old skip, along with third Nick Codner, second Brayden Snow, lead Carter Holden and coach Glenn Goss (also of the RE/MAX Centre, St. John’s Curling Club) opened with an 8-4 loss against Saskatchewan #2’s Team Rogan Snow of the Sutherland Curling Club in Saskatoon. However, during the evening draw, the unit returned with a 9-3 victory against Team British Columbia #1’s Team Kaiden Beck of the Vernon/Salmon Arm/Port Moody/Royal City Curling Clubs.
Both skips are focusing on fun this week in Ottawa at one of the most exciting Canadian curling championships on the calendar.
2024 marks the third time both skips have represented their province at the Canadian U-18’s, and both are coming off playoff appearances in 2023 at Oakville, Ont.
Competing in front of thousands of fans at the 2024 Youth Olympics is a memorable experience; however, the Canadian U-18’s is another event at the top of their list.
“This is where we got our start and why we were even over in Korea,” he said. “This is no small tournament for us, and we love it. It’s such a great atmosphere.”
The Newfoundland & Labrador skips are each competing in their third national U-18 championships and have improved each year. In 2023, both skips qualified for playoffs and aim to improve upon that result.
Teams are separated into three pools of seven teams and will play a round-robin schedule within each pool. 12 teams — the top four in each pool — advance to the playoffs for an opportunity to win a gold medal on Feb. 10.
Nine female teams, including Team Locke, finished Sunday with 1-0 records. In the male competition, five teams remained flawless with 2-0 records after playing two games on Sunday.
Live scoring and standings for the 2024 Canadian U-18 Curling Championships are available at curling.ca/scoreboard.
Live-streaming coverage of selected games at the 2024 Canadian Under-18 Curling Championships will be available on Curling Canada +, Curling Canada’s streaming platform. You can access the broadcast schedule by CLICKING HERE.