'It's just so nerve-racking,' says Sask. mother as son shoots for Olympic curling medal
A Regina-born curler is getting closer to claiming his second Olympic medal. Back at home, his mother is nervously cheering him on.
Team Canada lost to the United States in the Olympic men's curling semifinals on Thursday morning, ending their chance at a gold medal. However, the chance at a bronze remains.
Kevin Koe and company's chance at redemption after losing to the Americans in the round-robin tournament came up short once again. The round-robin game was the first time in Olympic history that a Canadian curling team had lost to an American team.
The Canadians went into the semifinal game as the No. 2 seed, with a 6-3 record. The Americans are ranked No. 3 with a 5-4 record.
Ben Hebert, the lead on Koe's team, hails from Regina. Hebert's mother Judy stayed in Saskatchewan while other family members went to cheer him on in Korea.
"I'm glad I'm here and not there because I get very nervous," she told CBC on Wednesday. "I'm feeling excited for them.The guys are pumped. I think they are in the zone and are going to go after it.
"They want this so bad that they will put it all out on the ice for sure."
All in the family
Hebert is already an Olympic gold medallist, having played lead for skip Kevin Martin during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Despite this, Judy said seeing her son under pressure doesn't get any easier.
"As a mom, you feel every one of their emotions. You feel his joy but you also feel his pain when they lose," she said.
Hebert comes from a long line of curlers. Both of his grandfathers were big into the sport and two of his cousins have also appeared in the Brier.
His brother Christopher was a World Junior Curling Champion in 2005.
"In our family, nobody likes to lose," Judy said, laughing.
Growing up, Judy said Hebert wasn't just a curler, but was always an athlete. She said he used to play football, baseball and hockey as well.
"He was a great hockey player and it came the time when I said to him, 'Buddy, you gotta make that choice. You have to do one or the other. They're both winter sports.' And he chose curling which has been wonderful for him," she said. "He's got to see the world, he's got to live his dream and it's so exciting for him."
Judy said she plans to watch the games by herself.
"I, just for my own sanity, have to be by myself," she said. "Everybody wants get together to the final game, too, and I have to just wait and see because it's just so nerve-racking for me."