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Canadian Curling History: Unveiling the World Champions and Unprecedented Dominance, Plus a Legendary Individual Performance

World champions and the most dominating team performance in Canadian curling history, and arguably the most remarkable individual performance by any skip, in any year, male or female!!




62 wins and 6 losses, including a 24-1 run through CDN Nationals (Scotties) and the Worlds, and doing so playing only the world’s best in the big tournaments, capping it with Canada’s first women’s World Curling title since 2018. The Rachel Homan rink with skipper Rachel Homan did that while juggling small children, jobs and family.


a picture of women's curling with Rachel Homan

“They say the world has caught up to Canada, but I think Team Homan caught the world.”



Rachel Homan: Redefining Excellence in Women's Curling


Rachel Homan took women’s curling, and curling in general to an entirely new level. Run back doubles were almost routine and all season she had her draw weight in her back pocket, as they say, to bail out her team when they needed it. Highlight reel shots were plenty all season, but the draw to the “pin of the button” to force an extra end in the semi finals of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian national championships may be the greatest shot of her career. Mind you, the 10th end vs Turkey last week we witnessed two almost identical run backs by her in the 10th that many, including TV analyst Russ Howard didn’t think possible. You had to witness them to believe it! And the teams gutsy call to split the rings for three in the 9th in the world finals, rather than take the safe deuce, was executed perfectly by Homan and her sweepers. That shot deflated the Swiss and was the deciding factor in the victory, but she needed one more shot in the 10th to seal the deal and it was a perfect freeze to a Swiss rock to sink the 4 time defending world champions. That shot is one most curlers say they dream of but we have seen many miss as the adrenaline and nerves are hard to control. With 5,000 people in the stands, Homan delivered the goods with nerves of steel and that famous focused stare, and utter confidence in her sweepers.


This is Homan’s, and her second Emma Miskew’s 4th World Championship appearance and second Gold medal, the first one happened in 2017. In 2013 at age 23 Homan and Miskew took home bronze at the World’s and in 2014 they won silver. And they did it in the same arena that brought them much heartbreak in 2019, losing a Scotties Final after being up 5-1. On the other side of that game were two of their current teammates, lead Sarah Wilkes and alternate Rachel Brown, who obviously could bring positivity to the venue. Note, The Rachel Homan this year is not the Rachel Homan of 2019.

A fascinating journey back to the top considering Homan has had 3 children in 5 years. But from reading and listening to the curling fraternity and her coach Don Bartlett, no one throws more practice rocks or works harder on her game than Homan. They also added key components with Tracy Fleury at 3rd and Sarah Wilkes at lead and created this powerhouse. This was Fleury and Wilkes first World Gold and Fleury's first Scotties championship.


The Rise of Women's Curling: A Season of Dominance and Determination


Someone ought to write a book on this season of dominance from this group of ladies. They put it altogether at a time when women's curling has never been more international nor anywhere near as strong. It all starts with leadership and what we witnessed this year was, as mentioned above, a stronger Rachel Homan, more confident and relaxed than years past. Being a parent has a way of doing that and I suspect there might be a high performance coach somewhere behind the scenes that took her and her team to a level never seen before. And they did it with babies at home. Homan with 3 children must have a great man as a husband that allows her the time to pursue her passion. Fleury and Wilkes each have one toddler.


Well done ladies and congratulations. I have a feeling this story could get even better. That confidence and look Rachel Homan brought to the Grand Slams, the Scotties and the World's doesn't come without work and the only person I can think of that brings that same persona is Canada's perennial champion, Brad Gushue. Never too high, never too low, and always okay with whatever the circumstance of the game, and that ability to sit in the hack and make any shot no matter the situation. There was a time when Homan preferred one turn over another and the hit over the draw but no longer. There was a time when she'd get down and it showed, that is gone as well. Technically many are close where she is at now, but few hold it together emotionally all game. How many times did we have to hear someone, both women and men, drop an F bomb during the Brier and the Scotties, but not this team. Credit to them and maybe their coach, curling Hall of Famer Don Bartlett for that.


P.S

Rachel Homan has my vote for Canadian Athlete of the Year. Her domination and command of her sport is unparalleled, and add Team Homan for Canadian team of the year while your at it.



 

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