Tucks hope for Olympic Qualification next season

·2 min read

STRATHROY - The results were not as hoped, but local curling pros Kim and Wayne Tuck put in a valiant effort at the 2021 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Calgary, winning two of their six round-robin games.

Kim admits that they were pretty rusty going into the competition, having played no mixed doubles games at all last year. With just one game per day and strict Covid rules, the team felt it difficult to get things moving. They were able to hit a stride toward the end of the round-robin, winning their final two draws.

“I think all the players were pretty happy about being on the ice, and we were glad to have the opportunity to play regardless how it finished for us,” says Kim Tuck. Although they missed the mark on their goal of making the play-offs, even being included in the event says a lot about how much work and discipline have gone into the past few years.

“I think this prepares us for what we’ve got on our plate for next season, in wanting to qualify for Olympic trials,” notes Kim. Curling organizations have yet to determine what next season will look like; regardless, the Tucks plan to compete in as many qualifying events as possible. They’ll chase enough points to qualify for the mixed doubles Olympic trials in January. The brief “escape from reality” in the Calgary bubble was a large mood-boost for the players.

A highlight for Team Tuck was seeing other players, staff, and officials who they haven’t seen in a long time. They returned home safely on 24 March, with all possible precautions taken.

In mixed doubles, players have only five stones per end, meaning less room for error. Even just one missed shot can translate into large scores.

All four round-robin pools included tough competition, with former Scotties, Briar, and Olympic champions splattered throughout. The eventual gold medal winners - Brad Gushue (NFLD) & Kerri Einarson (MB) - were included in Pool B with Team Tuck.

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner