This will be the first year both Canada’s men’s and women’s curling teams won’t be on the Olympic podium.
The men will learn their fate on Friday in a bronze medal game against Switzerland.
Team Canada did, however, win gold in the inaugural mixed doubles Olympic game. Provincial curling champion Michelle Englot said the world curling stage has become “so much more competitive” over the years that she’s not shocked other countries are giving Canada a run for their money.
“The European and Asian teams are essentially doing it as a full-time job,” she said. “They have been getting closer and closer and moving up the rankings in terms of the world curling tour. It is just so competitive at this time that you know it’s not really shocking that they’re improving.”
Englot went on to say it was tough to see Team Canada, lead by skip Rachel Homan, have an “off week” as they fell to Great Britain, eliminating their chances of winning a medal. She said she knows the team worked very hard to represent Canada.
“Rachel’s rink is currently the number one ranked team in the world and she deserved to be in the medals for sure,” she said. “I know how hard that they worked and how much time and effort that they did put into the game and it was just unfortunate she had an off week.”
As for Canada’s men’s team, she said it’s been known for some time the U.S. “has been the sleeping giant” when it comes to curling teams. Englot added as other countries invest time and money into their teams, Canada will have to play at “the top of (their) game.”
As the competitiveness grows in the sport Englot loves to play, she said it’s amazing to see how far the sport has developed during her career. She said it’s surprising but yet great to see other athletes and celebrities take interest into the sport like NFL players along with Mr. T.
Now see, you might not like it but you have to admit it; Curling is cool Fool! Grrr #curlingiscoolfool
— Mr. T (@MrT) February 21, 2018
Englot said with the addition of mixed doubles curling she hopes it will add even more excitement to the sport.
— With files from Britton Gray.