Coach clutch completes curling crew

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Lisa Weagle, Adam Kingsbury and Rachel Homan. Photo: Dan Plouffe.

By Charlie Pinkerton

Adam Kingsbury wants one thing to be clear – he’s no Olympian.

“I’m associated with four incredible athletes and a part of their support staff,” Kingsbury said of the Ottawa-bred quartet of Team Homan, just after the women won the 2017 Roar of the Rings.

“But did I ever think that I would be able to go (to the Olympics) as part of a team? Never.”

Kingsbury is in his second season as the head coach of the team that will be representing Canada in women’s curling at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.

Unlike those before him, Kingsbury is a curling-outsider; he’s a long-time competitive amateur golfer and now a PhD candidate in sports psychology at the University of Ottawa. His specialization as Team Homan’s coach is improving the team’s mental strength, and while in-game, collecting data from each stone throw for post-game technical analysis.

“When I was brought on officially as the head coach a couple of years ago it was for this cycle, in fact everything led to the (2017 Roar of the Rings) with the hopes to qualify and win the trials,” Kingsbury said.

Unsurprisingly, it was on that stage where Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle impressed Kingsbury the most.

“The pressure that those four girls were under in their home town, I’ve never seen anything like it. I think they handled it remarkably,” he reflected.

To secure the Olympic birth, the team’s skip delivered in the clutch by knocking a single of Team Carey’s stones from the rings in the match’s final end, in a play that couldn’t be matched by Carey, giving Team Homan a 6-5 victory. Miskew told the Ottawa Sportspage prior to the Roar of the Rings that it would be the first major event that the team would ever compete in in their home town. The type of win (one reminiscent of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in which Homan executed an even more difficult double-takeout in the 10th end to force an extra, in which the team would prove superior in) of one boiling down to a nail-biter finish has become a trademark of a high-stakes Team Homan victory that may perhaps be a reflection of the focus of their head coach.

He may be no Olympian, but Kingsbury’s proven to have four of Canada’s most promising medal-threats poised for a peak-of-the-podium finish in Pyeongchang.

“It’s been fun but we have one step to go now, and we’re going to enjoy this,” Kingsbury added with a laugh. “The next mission is to go out and bring gold back for Canada. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly and that the girls don’t either.”

-With files from Dan Plouffe

Event times

Wed., Feb. 14, CAN vs KOR 7 p.m. ET

Thu., Feb. 15, CAN vs SWE 6 a.m.

Fri., Feb. 16, CAN vs DEN 12:05 a.m.

Sat., Feb 17, CAN vs USA 6 a.m.

Sun., Feb. 18, CAN vs SUI 12:05 a.m.

Sun., Feb 18, CAN vs JPN 7 p.m.

Tue., Feb 20, CAN vs CHN 12:05 a.m.

Wed., Feb. 21, CAN vs OAR 6 a.m.

Fri., Feb. 23, Semifinal 6 a.m.

Sat., Feb. 24, Bronze 6 a.m., Gold 7 p.m.

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