We now know the nine men’s teams and the nine women’s teams that will be participating at the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Ottawa from December 2-10. This past weekend at the pre-trials in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, two men’s teams and two women’s teams qualified to fill out the draw.
The men’s teams were John Morris’s team from British Columbia and Brendan Bottcher’s team from Edmonton, Alberta. On Sunday, Morris beat Bottcher 4-3 to claim the first spot, and then Bottcher stormed back for a 9-5 win over four-time world champion Glenn Howard of Midland, Ontario 9-5.
On the women’s side, Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ontario was the first curling team that qualified for the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials this past weekend after she defeated Briane Meilleur of Winnipeg, Manitoba 7-5 on Saturday. Meilleur’s team then struggled on Sunday, as they lost 8-3 to Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ontario in the women’s B final.
The other men’s teams in the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials draw are skipped by 2006 Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Newfoundland, two-time world champion Kevin Koe of Calgary, Alberta, 2014 Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs of Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario, 2016 Champions Cup champion Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2013 Winter Universiade gold medalist Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, Manitoba, three-time grand slam champion John Epping of Peterborough, Ontario and 2003 World Junior champion Steve Laycock of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.
The other women’s teams in the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials draw are skipped by five-time World Champion and 2014 Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, Manitoba, reigning world champion Rachel Homan of Ottawa, Ontario, 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Chelsea Carey of Calgary, Alberta, two-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts finalist Valerie Sweeting of Edmonton, Alberta, 2017 Masters Champion Allison Flaxey of Guelph, Ontario, 2017 Canadian Open champion Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alberta and reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts finalist Michelle Englot of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The men’s and women’s winners from the Olympic Curling Trials will represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeogchang.