By Charlie Pinkerton
Despite it being a team new to the Olympics representing Canada in women’s curling in PyeongChang, fans tuning in may feel a creeping sense of déjà vu watching Lisa Weagle on the ice.
Four years ago at the Sochi Winter Games, another Ottawa-native played lead for Canada’s women’s team on their way to a gold medal victory victory.
At those Games it was 33-year-old Dawn McEwen who wore the Maple Leaf. Before that, at the 2013 Roar of the Rings she faced off against fellow University of Ottawa communications alumnus Weagle and the rest of Team Homan in one of the final draws of the trials’ round robin play. A narrow 7-6 win by McEwen’s team, skipped by Jennifer Jones, would ultimately secure Team Jones 1st place, advancing them directly to the tournament’s finals. Team Homan wouldn’t get a second shot at Team Jones, losing to skip Sherry Middaugh’s team in the playoffs.
“We were a bit disappointed it wasn’t us at the trials,” Weagle reflected, a four-year Olympic cycle later, just after the 2017 Roar of the Rings. “But once they won the trials we were just cheering for them. Losing the trials were probably a good thing for us in hindsight and we were so proud of (Team Jones) and what they did for Canada.”
In the round robin of this Olympics’ trials, Weagle’s and McEwen’s teams squared off in the final draw. With both teams’ playoff position already clinched and a rematch pre-set in the trials’ semifinal, Team Homan won 9-4 over Team Jones.
“It’s nice to have some family and friends here to cheer us on,” McEwen said during the 2017 trials held at the Canadian Tire Centre. “The crowd is super respectful, but they love their Team Homan, that’s for sure.”
In a sort-of Canadian Olympic Curling Trials rubber-match in the 2017 Roar of the Rings semifinals, Weagle and Team Homan overcame McEwen and Team Jones, propelling Team Homan to the finals where they would beat Team (Chelsea) Carey to clinch the Olympic bid.
Afterwards, Weagle spoke to the Ottawa Sportspage about McEwen, agreeing that she was “absolutely” someone she looked up to in the sport of curling.
“She’s an amazing lead and someone I’ve always chased and her being from Ottawa is pretty cool, that means that we both kind of have that connection. I think she’s a great curler,” Weagle added.
To catch McEwen, circa 2014, there’s one thing left for the 32-year-old Weagle to do, and that’s win an Olympic gold medal.
“That’s definitely the goal, to bring home the gold for Canada.”
-With files from Dan Plouffe.
Wed., Feb. 14, CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET
Thu., Feb. 15, CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.
Fri., Feb. 16, CAN vs DEN 12:05 a.m.
Sat., Feb 17, CAN vs USA 6 a.m.
Sun., Feb. 18, CAN vs SUI 12:05 a.m.
Sun., Feb 18, CAN vs JPN 7 p.m.
Tue., Feb 20, CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m.
Wed., Feb. 21, CAN vs OAR 6 a.m.
Fri., Feb. 23, Semifinal 6 a.m.
Sat., Feb. 24, Bronze 6 a.m., Gold 7 p.m.