It’s an open secret when it comes to curling in this country.
The best of the best agree that qualifying for the Canadian Olympic team is more difficult than competing against the world in the actual Winter Games.
If that sounds un-Canadian, or perhaps a little too boastful, then judge for yourself in the coming week when Saskatoon hosts the national team qualifier.
And if you need a glimpse of how this is all going to play out, we recommend taking a look inside Lead Ben Hebert’s mind.
The gold medalist, world champion, and four-time Brier winner is an excellent source of unvarnished wisdom about the game, which he perfected over 25 years.
According to Hebert, the whole tournament at this level and with these teams could amount to a few strokes in the race. Which means it could be anyone who will be wearing the maple leaf once Beijing starts.
And looking at the Olympics themselves, Hebert is quick to point out that Sweden and Scotland are the nations to be respected in February.
In Calgary with his old Olympic buddy Anastasia Bucsis, Hebert talks about such important topics as whether a Saskatchewan team that wins gold in curling or the Roughriders, who win the Gray Cup, make Sask hearts beat the hardest .
He also talks about his ongoing dismay at being swept off the podium in PyeongChang 2018 and how money and medals have propelled everyone to heights of professionalism and athletic fitness barely a generation ago in curling.
We are happy to provide a transcript for our hard of hearing and deaf listeners.
Like CBC Sports’ Player’s Own Voice essay series, the POV podcast enables athletes to speak to Canadians about problems from a personal perspective.
To listen to the entire fourth season, follow Player’s Own Voice on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In, or wherever you’re listening to your podcast.