OLDS – Canadian teams will have a challenge to repeat as curling gold medallists in the 2018 Winter Olympics, now underway in PyeongChang, South Korea, according to two-time Tournament of Hearts champion, former world junior champion and two-time world bronze medallist Heather Nedohin.
Nedohin was in Olds Tuesday (Feb. 6) teaching École Deer Meadow students how to curl.
Curling competition began Thursday, Feb. 8 and ends Feb. 13.
“I think our teams are in tough, going back as double gold champions,” Nedohin said. “Defending their Olympic golds from Russia will be extremely challenging.
“But our teams representing us are extremely strong. Team Koe from Alberta, Team Canada – they’re going to have a wealth of support. But in the same sense, so does Team Holman.”
She can’t wait to see how the Canadian duo of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris do in the new curling sport – mixed doubles.
“Great athletes as they are, they haven’t played a lot of doubles and the reality is, us Canadians haven’t the experience that the Europeans have in the sport of doubles,” she told reporters.
“But they’re extremely great athletes who will gather how to play it very quickly. So I’m really excited to see what comes out over the next couple of weeks.”
Nedohin is excited to see mixed doubles in the Olympics.
“My husband (David Neodhin) and I play the doubles event and it is a new type of curling,” she said.
“I would say us players probably enjoy it to play it more than some of what people want to watch it, but I think once we gather the knowledge on how it’s played, it’s fast, it’s like the skins in a condensed version, and there’s just shot making all the time.”
Nedohin, who lives in Sherwood Park, said one of the crowning moments of her career so far occurred in Red Deer when her team won the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts national women’s curling championship.
“Alberta is a very strong province, with competitors. But where I love it the most is our fan base, and Red Deer supported the event so immensely. So winning that opportunity in front of our home crowd was outstanding,” she said.
“I think our teams are in tough, going back as double gold champions,” Nedohin said. “Defending their Olympic golds from Russia will be extremely challenging. But our teams representing us are extremely strong.”