Saturday, December 05, 2009

My pick to be Canada's representative to the Olympics

As Alan says in the previous posting, and as we have been noting for the past four years, we expect that the curling we will see for the next week will be the best curling in the world. Canada has so many teams that could compete well and be likely to win the gold at the Olympics. Furthermore, there will be more than one team from some provinces, whereas in the Scott and the Brier only one team can represent each province or territory.

Unfortunately, my day job will keep me from watching many of the draws, as will some travel. At one point, Alan and I had hoped we could report live from the event in Edmonton, but we were unable to secure media passes because we not been full-time journalists for the past year. But more on that later....

Meanwhile, I would like to offer my predictions as to who will win and maybe some thoughts on which team I think might best represent Canada at the Olympics.

Since the women start first on Sunday, I will begin with them. I have no idea who will win this. Not a clue. Kelly Scott came so close four years ago, and her rink has been superb over the years, but they seem to have slipped a bit lately. The Kleibrink rink actually looks better than they did four years ago, and they have a good chance. The Jones rink has been solidly good for most of the past few years. I will be a bit surprised, but only mildly, if one of these three teams doesn't win the trials. But several of the others would likely be just as good at representing Canada in Vancouvre. My pick will be Scott, but with 8 highly qualified teams in the running, I give them about a 15% chance of winning, which is only a bit higher than random! Whoever wins will surely have their hands VERY full trying even to medal at the Olympics.

On the men's side, it looks like a real fight between the Howard and Martin rinks, with Stoughton and Ferbey as close contenders. I expect that Simmons or Koe would also do an adequate job of representing Canada. The real dark horse is Gunnlaugson; I'm really looking forward to seeing him curl again. I'm willing to bet beer (at even odds) that Middaugh's rink will not be the Canadian representative at the Olympics. My pick: Howard, but I'm really expecting to see some fine and fun curling over the week.



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