Before some comments on the pre-trials, here are two stories I wrote that appeared in Saturday’s Globe. My regular column featured Jennifer Jones, who passed through Toronto making an appearance for Scotties. She’s always a delight to talk to and I really respect her drive, her commitment and the way she balances here life, being one of the few world-class curlers to maintain a career (as opposed to just a job) and curling. I had to laugh -- after filing the story, I called the desk to ask if there were any questions and the editor said any time he can get a Jennifer Jones picture in the paper, he jumps at it.
The other feature was for the Globe’s Fully Focused feature, which is a section that profiles athletes going to the Olympics and Paralympics. It’s on Jim Armstrong, who is also a wonderful guy and back enjoying curling.
An interesting wrap-up to the pre-trials in Prince George, B.C. I think it’s fair to say that on both men’s and women’s sides of the draw, there were some favourites who made it through and a few surprises too. About what you’d expect in something like this.
First the women: Crystal Webster – surprised me, but in a good way; Krista McCarville – what I expected; Kelly Scott – only surprise was that she needed a C-side berth; Amber Holland – didn’t have her in my picks but she was impressive.
The men: Jeff Stoughton – no surprise at all; Pat Simmons – ditto; Jason Gunnlaugson – will play the role of Mike Harris at this Trials; Wayne Middaugh – still has all the shots.
So of all eight of these teams, which has the best chance of actually winning the Trials? I’d say it would be Stoughton, who has experience, talent and is obviously playing well.