Team Canada skip relishing opportunity to return to Prince George for world championships

Team Canada shows their appreciation to the crowd after defeating Sweden on Wednesday, March 24. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Team Canada shows their appreciation to the crowd after defeating Sweden on Wednesday, March 24. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Many people from Quesnel have made the trip to Prince George to cheer on Team Canada, including the Quesnel Special Olympics curlers. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Many people from Quesnel have made the trip to Prince George to cheer on Team Canada, including the Quesnel Special Olympics curlers. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel residents Steve Doerksen, Al Baker, Ross Campbell and Debbie Telford enjoy a cold one in between draws at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George on Wednesday, March 24. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Quesnel residents Steve Doerksen, Al Baker, Ross Campbell and Debbie Telford enjoy a cold one in between draws at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George on Wednesday, March 24. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Team Canada high fives after defeating the United States at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George on Thursday, March 24. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)Team Canada high fives after defeating the United States at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George on Thursday, March 24. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

For Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, competing at the World Women’s Championship in Prince George is about more than the results on the ice. She’s enjoying playing in front of friends, family and fans on the biggest stage.

Einarson’s team, including lead Briane Meilleur, second Shannon Birchard and third Val Sweeting, were set to represent Canada at the world’s in Prince George in 2020, before COVID-19 sent the entire globe, including curling, into a tailspin.

What followed was two years of uncertainty and playing in empty arenas, without friends and family to cheer them on.

While organizing tournaments has been anything but easy, Einarson’s results on the ice have been impeccable through the pandemic. She’s won three consecutive Canadian championships and won the Canadian mixed championship in 2021.

After getting the rug pulled out from under her in 2020, she’s grateful to be back in Prince George.

“It’s definitely pretty special to get this opportunity again,” Einarson said.

“Two years ago was devastating for us, and then we won it again, and it was in a bubble. It was extremely difficult.”

READ MORE: Women’s curling championship coming back to Prince George in 2022

Along with a partisan crowd of Canadian fans at the CN Centre, Einarson’s family has made the trip from Gimli, Man. to B.C., including her twin daughters.

During a game against the United States on Thursday, March 24, one of her two eight-year-old daughters eagerly yelled “mom could block them,” calling for a centreline guard.

Einarson despite being on the other end of the arena, agreed with her daughter, and blocked the centreline, leading to a steal of one for the Canadians, who would go onto win the match, and improve to 7-2 in the round robin.

”Prince George has been great,” she said.

“The organizers, volunteers and everything have been so awesome.”

Wearing the maple leaf is a special experience for Einarson, especially the 2022 jersey. The design incorporates an eagle feather.

Einarson is Metis, and won the Tom Longboat Award in 2021, awarded to Canada’s top Indigenous male and female athlete.

“I’ve always known I’ve been Metis, but it’s something I’ve been looking into a lot more and talking to my girls about it and making things a lot more diverse,” she said.

“As soon as I saw (the jerseys) for the Olympics, I was like ‘oh, I want those so bad,’ so when I heard they were going to be our world’s uniforms, I was pretty pumped.”

Later that night, Canada would fall to 7-3 after losing to Korea in an extra end. Canada will play Germany and Czechia on Friday, March 25 as their final round robin games.

READ MORE: Team Canada moves to 5-2 at curling world championships in Prince George

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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