By Martin Cleary
Rachel Homan has made many magical shots during her stellar women’s curling career.
But her latest venture into the world of magic on ice may be her best effort yet.
The Homan brand plans to be in two places at once, competing for a national championship and an Olympic gold medal.
On Thursday, Curling Canada named Homan and John Morris, who both developed their games in Ottawa and became world champions, as its representative team for mixed doubles during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. Competition starts Feb. 2 with Canada’s first match against Great Britain on Feb. 3.
But late Thursday, Curling Canada announced the Canadian women’s curling championship (Scotties Tournament of Hearts) will have an expanded field of 18 teams, if it goes ahead in Thunder Bay Jan. 28 to Feb. 6. The nationals still need the approval of the Ontario Ministry of Health because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides the 15 teams (10 provinces, Northern Ontario, three territories and Team Canada) which either won a berth on the ice or were appointed by an association, Curling Canada will welcome three wild-card teams. Team Tracy Fleury of Manitoba, Team Chelsea Carey of Saskatchewan and Team Rachel Homan of Ontario are designated as Wild Card No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 respectively to match their current Canadian Team Ranking System placings.
“With the expanded 18-team field at the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to compete,” Team Homan wrote on its Twitter account. “We will be the Wild Card 3 team with Rachel selected to represent Canada at the Olympics for mixed doubles. See you in Thunder Bay with Alli Flaxey.”
Homan sent words of encouragement via Twitter to her dedicated teammates.
“Can’t wait to watch you ladies play. I’ll be cheering so hard from Beijing,” she wrote.
Curling Canada selected the top three CTRS teams that did not qualify for the nationals to serve as the wild cards.
Team Homan will be represented at the national championship by third Emma Miskew, second Sarah Wilkes, lead Joanne Courtney and alternate Alli Flaxey. Miskew would be a logical choice as the skip, since she has played all 20 seasons with Homan.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 50 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the High Achievers “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @martincleary.
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