- At one of the world’s most difficult qualifiers, the competition will be tough.
- This weekend features all of the winter Olympic sports.
That is only an enhancement. After a comparatively quiet few weeks on the winter sports calendar, it appears that everything is happening all at once. Become accustomed to it. From here on out, it’s all systems go for the Beijing Olympics, which begin 11 weeks from today.
This weekend’s main event is Canada’s Olympic curling trials, which may be the most expected qualifier in the world. There will also be a stop on the Grand Prix of Figure Skating, where we’ll see if Canada’s speed skaters can build on their excellent start to the World Cup season.
The tournaments that will determine who will represent Canada in the men’s and women’s events in Beijing begin Saturday in Saskatoon and conclude next Sunday (the mixed doubles trials are in January).
The sport’s most powerful nation missed winning a medal in either the men’s or women’s events at the most recent Winter Olympics, a first, and hasn’t won a world title since 2018. However, Canada’s depth remains the gold standard, which is why the trials are so intriguing.
There are nine men’s and nine women’s teams competing in Saskatoon, and close to half of them may be favorites to win Olympic gold if they make it.
The leading contenders in the women’s event are Kerri Einarson and Rachel Homan, who battled in the last two Scotties championships, with Einarson winning both, Tracy Fleury, who has a Canadian-best 30-5 record to start the season, and Jennifer Jones (six Scotties titles and Olympic gold in 2014).
After a few weeks off, Canada’s short-track speed skaters are back in action when Hungary’s World Cup circuit starts. Pascal Dion is the best of the lot, for now, having won gold in the men’s 5,000m relay and bronze in the men’s 1,000m at each of the first two rounds. Kim Boutin, who won three Olympic medals in 2018, is still seeking her first podium of the season. In her events, she is 0 for 4.
Source: CBC News