Glenn Howard enjoyed his Olympic experience coaching Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Now the Canadian curling legend hopes to return to the Winter Games as a player.
Glenn Howard enjoyed the Olympic experience coaching Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang. Now the Canadian curling legend hopes to return to the Winter Games as a player.
The four-time world champion can come one step closer to this goal with this week’s direct entry to the men’s trials in Ottawa, the first stop on the way to qualifying for the 2022 Olympic Games. Two direct berths for the Tim Hortons Olympic Curling Trials at the end of November are on the program.
“Our potential is endless,” said Howard. “We can beat anyone and we know that. That’s the attitude we take at every event.”
As a curler, only one Olympic appearance is missing from Howard’s impressive rÃ©sumÃ©. He started as a coach a few years ago and led Eve Muirhead’s team to fourth place at the 2018 Winter Games.
Howard’s team, consisting of son Scott Howard, David Mathers and Tim March, has been one of the few elite female curlers in recent years to behave from season to season instead of focusing on the entire four-season period. You were one of five ice rinks that were invited to this week’s direct qualification tournament at the RA Center.
After recovering for a few months from a snowmobile accident that left him with a rib injury, Howard was back in shape earlier this season.
The ice rink, based in Penetanguishene, Ontario, won the Oakville Fall Classic in late August and followed suit with semi-finals at the next two bon games.
“We’ll keep going,” said Howard. “I’m really happy with the way we’ve played these three weeks.”
Howard, who opened this week’s five-day competition with a 9-5 win over Team Matt Dunstone, was due to face Team Colton Flasch on Thursday evening.
Howard, now 59, was benched with injuries at Tim Hortons Brier last season. Long-time friend and former teammate Wayne Middaugh took his place, threw fourth stones and nearly made the three-team playoff cut.
The qualification plans for determining the Canadian entries for Beijing were revised this summer due to the Curling Canada pandemic.
In addition to the Trials Direct Entry Event, a Pre-Trials Direct Entry competition – also with a draw for men and women – will take place in the capital of the country this week.
The teams at the latter event will compete for spots in the Home Hardware Pre-Trials October 26-31 in Liverpool, NS, a competition that will fill the field for the main tests November 20-28 in Saskatoon.
“It’s great for us from a selfish point of view,” Howard said in a recent interview from Ottawa. “It gives us two chances to get back to the exams and we were fortunate enough to be able to take one straight away, so we’re very excited to be part of it.”
Team Mike McEwen and Team Jason Gunnlaugson join the rinks skipped by Howard, Flasch and Dunstone in this field. They hope to join Team John Epping, Team Brad Gushue, Team Brad Jacobs, Team Kevin Koe, and Team Brendan Bottcher in Saskatoon.
The Women’s Trials Direct Entry Event, also in Ottawa, includes Team Suzanne Birt, Team Corryn Brown, Team Kelsey Rocque, Team Casey Scheidegger and Team Laura Walker.
Team Jennifer Jones, Team Rachel Homan, Team Kerri Einarson and Team Tracy Fleury have already reserved berths for the trials.
Canada failed to make the podium at the four-player curling events in Pyeongchang. The Beijing Games are scheduled for February 4th to 20th.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 23, 2021.
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Gregory Strong, the Canadian press