Aside from the fact that he's playing in a city where the smog is as thick as pea soup, English isn't spoken and where one of the favourite dishes is Gong Bao Chicken with Peanuts, there won't be any distractions at all for Kevin Koe as he tries to win the World Curling Championship for Canada.
Oh, and there is that small detail about his team breaking up at the end of this season.
But Koe is hoping to focus on the ice for the next week, as he told the Canadian Press's Greg Strong:
There have been a few challenges for Koe in the leadup to the competition, which opens Saturday at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium. Chief among them is news that there are changes coming to his rink next season.
Koe preferred to keep his focus on the world championship and declined to comment on the coming changes.
Of course the CCA coaching staff knows that the Canadian skip will be able to do just that as their double secret testing and analysis shows them so:
The timing is less than ideal for Koe and his teammates. Gerry Peckham, the Canadian Curling Association’s high-performance director, expects Koe to be able to lock in on the immediate task before him.
“Our analysis of his performance skills and performance attributes would suggest that he’s an incredibly focused individual and is seldom distracted by anything external to the game at hand,” Peckham said. “I think those teammates have looked in each other in the eye again, squared their shoulders, are shaking each other’s hands and are now moving on to complete this journey of a world championship.”