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Gushue has a roaring chance at a return to the Olympics

Not that it was a surprise, but Brad Gushue’s rink was among 14 men’s and women’s teams whose participation in December’s Canadian Olympic Trials in curling was
Not that it was a surprise, but Brad Gushue’s rink was among 14 men’s and women’s teams whose participation in December’s Canadian Olympic Trials in curling was

World champion rinks skipped by Brad Gushue of St. John’s and Rachel Homan of Ottawa will headline the field at the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

The Dec. 2-10 competition at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa will serve as the qualifying event in four-player curling for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Gushue and Homan both went undefeated at their respective world championships after winning national titles earlier in the season. There’s are among the 14 teams — seven men's and seven women's — who had their participation for the Olympic Trials confirmed Monday.

The Gushue rink, which also includes Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker, is the only one of the 14 from east of Ontario.

Joining Gushue — who won the 2006 Olympic gold medal with Nichols — in the men's field are reigning Olympic champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers, Toronto's John Epping, Calgary's Kevin Koe, Saskatoon's Steve Laycock and Winnipeg's Mike McEwen.

Reigning Olympic women's champion Jennifer Jones will join Homan in the women's field along with Calgary's Chelsea Carey, Winnipeg's Michelle Englot, Alli Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., and Edmonton's Val Sweeting.

The complete field will be rounded out after the Nov. 6-12 Road to the Roar Pre-Trials at Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I. Two men's teams and two women's teams from that 24-team field will qualify for the Olympic Trials.

The qualifying process for the Roar of the Rings began in the 2014-15 season. Teams locked up berths by winning a national title and then reaching the podium at the world championship (which is how Gushue qualified), winning a Home Hardware Canada Cup, or via performance on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).

Even if he hadn’t won the Canadian men’s title, Gushue would have been pretty much assured a spot in the Trials by virtue of CTRS points.

 

With files from The Telegram

 

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