Ben Hebert is trying not to let a fourth-place finish spoil his Olympic experience.
The expectations for Hebert, and his teammates Kevin Koe (skip) Brent Laing (second) and Marc Kennedy (third) were sky high. When it comes to the Olympics, Canada always wins gold. But that was not the case for the Koe Rink or for the Homan Rink on the women’s side.
“(It’s) going to take a little while to reflect on it to turn it into a good memory because right now the wound is still a little fresh,” Hebert said after an autograph session at the Tim Horton’s Brier Friday afternoon.
In the end, it was the USA that took home the gold medal, blowing through Team Canada to get there. It’s a defeat that is still weighing on Hebert.
He recognizes the world teams have gotten better, but not that much better.
“There’s no excuses. If we play good and they play good we run them out of the building. That’s on us and I’m comfortable saying that. I’ve been around enough to know that if they play their best game and we play our best game, we win.”
While other countries know for nearly four years if they will be going to the Games, Canada relies on the Roar of the Rings just months before the Olympics to decide which teams will represent Canada.
When asked if that process should change, Hebert firmly rebuked it.
“We’ve done so good at the Olympics every year and us not playing good has nothing to do with what our process is,” he said.
“We did the same things before the trials as we did before going to the Olympics. And when push came to shove the ice was a little bit different and we just didn’t catch on to it and we didn’t perform but it had nothing to do with the process. We had everything on our side to succeed.”
Instead, it was the USA who succeeded and got gold as well as the attention of Mr. T. Sweden went home with silver and Switzerland bronze.
“Is it good for the sport? Probably,” Hebert mused. “I wish it wasn’t on my hands.”
“We want to grow curling all over the world, not just in Canada, so other countries winning medals I think it’s good for that but I’m having a hard time seeing the light of that right now.”
Where does he see light? In the memories he made with his family who made the trip to Korea with him.
And also in the future, because Hebert’s ready to go another at least another four years to try it all again.
“Oh, easily,” he said. “(And) if my wife lets me keep playing, eight,” he added with a laugh.