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Bob Monette

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Homan one gold medal away from curling immortality

Rachel Homan’s lenghty resume is impressive to say the least. First female skip to go undefeated at the World Champ-ionships. Youngest skip, either male or female, to win three Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

The only line missing is Olympic gold medalist. Is there any reason why anyone having seen her performance in this year’s Scotties, and more recently at the World Championships, would doubt she and the rest of her rink won’t achieve this next step toward curling immortality.

While the TSN announcing team at the Worlds wouldn’t come out and say it, I will – Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney and Lisa Weagle are the best women’s team in the history of the sport.

They were always good. Heck, they won two Scotties championships before winning their third this year, and they won a pair of World Championship medals, but they were silver and bronze and they won them before Courtney was brought in to replace Alison Kreviazuk.

After going through a few growing pains following Courtney’s addition last year, the team approached the 2016-2017 curling season determined to get over those growing pains, which they’ve managed to do with flying colours thanks mainly to her consistency and brushing abilities.

Courtney’s arrival and the addition of sports psychologist Adam Kingsbury has also had a profound effect on the team dynamic and Rachel’s approach to the game.

They were always known as the best hitting team in women’s curling, but now they’ve added the soft game of draws, tap backs and freezes to their arsenal. Lisa Weagle has perfected the tick shot to perfection, and she and Courtney are the strongest brushing tandem in the game.

The relationship between the four team members has also vastly improved this year, if that was even possible.

They communicate constantly through-out their games, and not just front end with front end and back end with back end, as is traditionally the case.
Weagle and Courtney can often be seen visiting with Homan at the back of the house to discuss ice conditions etc.

And then there’s the relationship between Homan and Miskew. The two women are a formidable duo.

Miskew is an expert at calling the brushing and coming up with a Plan B whenever Plan A has to be thrown out the window. She also has a superb knowledge of the angles that would rival any math-ematics PHD.

The rink’s other strength is that they refuse to rest on their laurels. All four women have a deep desire to be the very best. A gold medal at the Olympics would place an indelible mark on that distinction.

But first they must get past the Roar of the Rings qualifying tournament in Ottawa next December, where she will be curling in front of a hometown crowd.

If they can find the same form they played with during the past two months, the Roar of the Rings should be little more than a formality.
As for the Olympics, we’ve just seen how they stack up with the world’s best and the rest of the world has been put on notice – Rachel Homan and the other members of Team Homan are on a mission. Odds are they’ll succeed.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)

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