Team Homan to take on the world
By Rachel Jaskula
Ottawa curling sensation Rachel Homan is preparing to take on the world after making history last month, winning the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and becoming the youngest skip in Canadian history to win three national championships.
Team Homan is based and practises at the Ottawa Curling Club on O’Connor Street in Centretown, and is the No. 1-ranked women’s rink in the world. Winning the Scotties landed Team Homan a spot at the CPT World Women’s Curling Championship in Beijing from March 18-26.
Homan said her team’s success at the Scotties on Feb. 26 was one of their biggest accomplishments. “It’s awesome to be a part of curling history,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to competing for the world title this year.
Homan has not won a gold at the worlds, but has secured a silver and a bronze during two prior appearances in 2013 and 2014 at the annual international tournament.
Homan said that once she’s in Beijing, she’ll be “focused on curling and trying to bring back that gold for Canada.”
Team Homan has not gone to the worlds since 2014, when they settled for silver after a loss to Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher and her team.
Last year, they won gold again. Feltscher will not competing this year, but the Swiss team is still among the favorites.
Homan said she plans on taking it home for Canada this year.
She added that her team has been preparing a lot for this event, and she’s looking forward to visiting China. “I’m excited to see the Great Wall.”
Homan skips a team that includes Joanne Courtney as second, Emma Miskew as third and lead Lisa Weagle.
The rink is coached by Adam Kingsbury.
Homan has been playing the sport since she was five years old and said curling runs in her blood. “Everyone in my family curled: my great-grandfather, grandfather, parents and brothers.”
She started her success early, winning the Ontario Provincial Bantam Championships for competitors under the age of 16, four years in a row, between 2003 and 2006.
“She has a very strong work and training ethic… she excelled at literally everything that she tried,” said her aunt, Shannon Snider.
Homan also played soccer in high school — at Cairine Wilson Secondary School — but eventually quit to focus on curling. Her high school soccer coach, Stuart Barbour, said Homan has always been, “driven, determined, but at the same time incredibly funny.”
Barbour said what’s misunderstood about Homan is that she looks so “steely-eyed” on TV, but “she has a razor sharp sense of humour.”
Later this year, in December, Team Homan has a spot in the Roar of the Rings tournament at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, where the rink will attempt to nail down a place for the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Homan fell short of the goal in 2013 after placing third in the qualifier for the 2014 Olympics.
She said that at this year’s Olympic trials, she’s looking forward to the fact that “it’s in our hometown and it’ll be exciting to have all our friends and family there.”
Snider said Homan’s family tries to go out and support her as much as possible. “We love going to events to see her whenever we can.”
Going to the Olympics has always been a dream for Homan since her youth, said Barbour. “I remember her writing in my year book what year of the Olympics she would be at, and that I could come see her there.”