For those who knew Orléans native Rachel Homan during her formative years at Cairine Wilson Secondary School when she won four straight Ontario bantam championships and a Canada Winter Games gold medal, it should come as little surprise that she's competing for a fourth Scotties title while eight months pregnant.
It should come as even less of a surprise that Homan, who's now 32 and already the mother of a 20-month-old, is off to a 3-0 start at the Canadian women's championship.
The Homan foursome, which includes longtime third Emma Miskew, second Sarah Wilkes and lead Joanne Courtney, started the tournament with a 9-3 win over wild card entry Beth Peterson on Saturday and then followed that up with a pair of wins on Sunday.
After beating the Yukon entry skipped by Lori Eddy in the morning, Homan and company came out on top of a cat and mouse battle with Alberta in the evening.
Both teams were undefeated heading into the showdown and after sharing single points over nine ends Homan found herself trailing her opposite number Laura Walker 5-4 heading into the 10th and final end. However, she did have last rock which she used to score two points and secure the win.
The Homan foursome had to individually self-quarantine, along with the other 17 teams, for 14 days before gathering in Calgary where they are all staying in the same hotel. While living and competing in a bubble, the teams are restricted to either their hotel rooms or the curling venue. Even their meals are brought to their rooms.
Because of the pandemic, most of the teams haven't competed since November with little if any opportunity to practice together over the past two and a half months.
"It presents some challenges but so far, so good," Homan said in an interview before the start of the Scotties. "We were off for two months-ish. That was definitely challenging, through pregnancy and not being able to curl and taking two months off. It’s challenging because your body changes.
We only had a week or two to see where we were able to get on the ice and see how things had changed for me and figure out a plan for the Scotties. It’s a different preparation and a different challenge.”
This year's Scotties will also be missing the fans. As for Rachel, she will be on the ice as long as her body allows. “I’m feeling good and, as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I’ll be out there playing."
One thing Rachel doesn't have to woory about is a possible trip to the worlds should her team win. For the second year in a row the World Championships have been cancelled due to the pandemic.