As promised, even though the Scotties are over, I'm updating the blog with some extra information I gathered during the week but didn't have time to post.
On Monday February 18th, I got to go behind the scenes at the Scotties to observe and participate in a media scrum. It was very official. I had a press pass and had to fill in a request to interview a player. I chose to interview Heather Nedohin one on one.
After the game against Quebec, Heather Nedohin talked about the game and other stuff in a media scrum. Heather thought her team played well and thought she was lucky on her double for 2 in the 1st end. She thought her team played very well at the beginning of the game. Heather commented about the consistency of her shots. Heather especially knows how important consistency is when the week is filled with intensity. They take each game "Game by game and shot by shot." They relied on their support team and their Coach Darryl Horne to get them ready and prepared for the next game. They knew the calibre of all the teams at the tournament. They were not watching any other games nor watching. They did see the results of the other games on the ice and the standings board as they entered the hotel.
One question from another reporter was if they intimidated any of the other teams as Team Canada. Heather couldn't comment about that. She knew what it felt like to be facing Team Canada when she was team Alberta.
Heather Nedohin loves throwing last stone, loves having 2 sweepers and someone calling the 'awesome' line. She also says "It takes 4 of us to make those skip shots and it takes 4 of us to miss those shots. We win as a team, we lose as a team."
Heather likes to take risks, but not with her kids! She says her kids are more daredevils then she is. Heather likes to do a lot of fun things and sometimes takes risks. She loves speed. She skis, snowmobiles and water-skis. One reporter asked if she would skydive. Nedohin said, "Absolutely, if a plane is blowing up and I need to put something on my back..." In curling when she has needs to take risks she can. She sometimes has choices to get the 3 or just take the 1. They go over the pros and cons, the scoreboard and her positions in the standings and make the decision.
After the scrum, I got a chance to have a 1 on 1 interview with Heather.
My 1st question was, “What do you need to improve on to win this tournament?” The biggest key to winning the Scotties is the unity of your team according to Nedohin. You also need to handle adversity which is dealing with key or pressure situations whether things are going really well or if there not. Heather and her team also say "Grind through those tough moments." Heather also says that sticking together and working as a unit to execute on any shot is good as well.
The 2nd question was, “Who do you think is your toughest opponent?” She said "I think our toughest opponent is always ourselves. There's times where you can be hard on yourself the most and get distracted by the little things. There's no one team out here that's above anyone else. The calibre of play at the Canadian level is that any team here can possibly win. The biggest opponent at times is yourself and keeping positive within yourself."
The 3rd question was, “Do you have the World's on your mind again?” The worlds were not on Heather's mind at that time as she had to look up where the world's were going to be played because she didn't know where Latvia was. She said that they are focusing on each game…
The 4th and final question was, “What do you do in Kingston when you are not playing?” Heather said, "We like to say that we do 3 things; we eat, we sleep and we curl." They scout out new restaurants and take in what is going on around them. They heard that there were good pubs and pasta places here. They like to have competitions between themselves as well. They have fun playing little games. Whether it is charades or other silly games, they always have a good time. "There are 2 members on my team that are blondes and there are 2 members that are brunettes", Nedohin describes. Their first game was Hot Shots. The Brunettes won and guess what the blondes had to do at Up Close and Personal! They had to wear a balloon on their wrist while wearing red boas.
It was really amazing to have a one on one with a Canadian Champion skip. She was so nice and treated me like a real reporter. Our interview was early in the week and she still had a lot of tough games ahead of her but she took the time to speak with me. This is one of the amazing thing professional curlers – they are so fabulous with the fans!
Team Nedohin had a great week. Although they started the playoffs as the number 3 seed, and almost beat Jennifer Jones in the semifinal, they left Kingston without a medal. That was probably a disappointment for the defending champion. I think we will be seeing a lot more of Team Nedohin in future Scotties and since her team has already qualified for the Olympic Trials, they won't let this setback at the Scotties get in their way of their goal of representing Canada at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia!