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SportsCanada first? Marc Kennedy thinks we're exporting too much curling knowledge

22:00  08 november  2018
22:00  08 november  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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He thinks Canada is losing ground as it exports more of its coaches and curling know-how abroad. "In my opinion, the international teams have gotten really, really good with our But Kennedy thinks that leadership role might have gone too far. Now it's time to step up the Canadian game, he says.

He thinks Canada is losing ground as it exports more of its coaches and curling know-how abroad. "In my opinion, the international teams have gotten By Marc Kennedy (Team Canada men's vice-skip) Most really good Canadian curlers at some point in their career have had the game be pretty

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Marc Kennedy is back in the place he refers to as "home" — a curling rink. And yet he's never felt as far away from the pebbled sheets as he does right now, sitting on some scaffolding inside the Tournament Centre holding an iPad.

This week in Thunder Bay, Kennedy is tracking rocks and watching Canadian teams closely as they compete in the third Grand Slam stop of the season.

It's his new gig — national team program performance consultant with Curling Canada. One of this country's finest curlers ever to grace the ice, Kennedy abruptly left the game last spring just weeks after his fourth-place finish at the Olympics with skip Kevin Koe.

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Marc Kennedy (born February 5, 1982) is a Canadian curler , and Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic gold medalist Kennedy is married to his wife Nicole Kennedy (née MacDonald), and they have two daughters. " Canada first ? Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge ".

Canada first ? Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge . The goals are loftier. The confidence is at an all-time high. American curling is on the rise. This is no time to look back.

"I was away from the game for about four or five months this summer. Completely away," Kennedy says. "Not even having the opportunity to talk curling felt like I lost a limb. It was the longest time away from the game in my life."

And it was needed, according to Kennedy. His body is a mess after spending half of his life obsessively training for the sport he loves.

The 36-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., was a curling perfectionist in every way imaginable. He would spend countless hours throwing rock after rock. He admits now it was probably to his detriment health-wise. His hip continues to give him trouble. Kennedy has hired a new team of trainers to help him rehab. It's a long, slow grind.

"There's a wear and tear problem in our sport going forward," Kennedy says. "The training for certain aspects of our sport could be better, especially at a younger age."

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Canada is the top curling nation in the world. But former Olympic champ Marc Kennedy worries the country may be eroding its own power by lending too much expertise to its rivals. Unique Conferences Canada (UCC) is a Canadian Conference Service organization works with many partners around the

Kennedy is married to his wife Nicole Kennedy (née MacDonald), and they have two daughters. Kennedy has a marketing degree from the University of ^ Heroux, Devin (8 November 2018). " Canada first ? Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge ". CBC Sports.

The focus now for Kennedy is on getting healthy. Then, and only then, will he consider continuing his playing career.

"No one is calling," he says. "I've gotten more calls from the coaching side. I think there's a lot I can give that way."

Export, eh?

More than anything, the time away from curling has allowed Kennedy to reflect on the state of the sport — something he never had time for while he was in the throes of competition.

And something isn't sitting well with him.

He thinks Canada is losing ground as it exports more of its coaches and curling know-how abroad.

"In my opinion, the international teams have gotten really, really good with our help," he says. "I don't like seeing our curling knowledge going to other countries."

Canada first? Marc Kennedy thinks we're exporting too much curling knowledge© Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images At the Pyeongchang Olympics, Marc Kennedy got a first-hand look at how much international curling teams have improved. They kept his Canadian rink off the podium for the first time.

Canada had never missed an Olympic podium in curling until this year, when it happened twice. Both the men's and women's teams failed to win a medal in Pyeongchang.

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Canada first ? Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge . Canada skip Kevin Martin shows off his gold medal after defeating Norway during Olympic men's curling finals action at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Curlers balk at Marc Kennedy 's Canada - first approach. Analysis. Stop the clock: Curlers sound off on new timing system. "I think we all have pride in being from Newfoundland and calling ourselves Newfoundlanders," Gushue Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge .

Kennedy wants to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"I think we should be putting more into our own teams. So maybe I did take it personally," he says.

That's the main reason for Kennedy taking up this position with Curling Canada this season. He says many of the coaches and staff of the sport's national governing body know changes need to be made after the last Olympic performance.

"Losing forces you to do it, to look in the mirror," Kennedy says. "I think they did. I think there won't be panic but little changes here and there."

They're getting good

You'll be hard-pressed to find someone more passionate about curling than Kennedy. He's lived and breathed the game for years. And he's won everything there is to win in the sport.

He won Olympic gold with Kevin Martin's rink in 2010. He's captured two world championships and three Briers. Now he's trying to share his curling knowledge with the next wave of Canadian curling champions.

"The Olympics was an eye-opener for how good the international teams are getting and have gotten," he says. "We grow up expecting our teams to do well and have also taken a leadership role to help other teams in the world develop."

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Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge . Paterson was eliminated with the loss, holding a 1 -3 record. Gushue will face the winner of the morning tiebreaker between Regina's Matt Dunstone and Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont.

This first curling bonspiel is just the beginning for the football foursome. Allen says they have a number of curling events lined up in 2019 Marc Kennedy thinks we ' re exporting too much curling knowledge . NFL player turned curling fan Vernon Davis chosen honourary Team USA

But Kennedy thinks that leadership role might have gone too far. Now it's time to step up the Canadian game, he says.

"We're still evolving the game and the game has changed so much. The technical part of it is still the biggest part. Throwing a rock pure and straight will always be the most important thing."

While Kennedy navigates this new coaching role, he's still trying to find his identity outside of curling. He's spending more time than ever with his two children and his wife.

"I have a great thing at home. Being away from them was tough for a long time," Kennedy says.

And then there's that whole fourth-place finish at the Olympics. Kennedy is still working through that. He says he's never felt more prepared for an event in his life, so he doesn't regret a thing despite the disappointing results.

"Sometimes losing happens for a reason and I wouldn't change any of it," he says.

Does he still think about those games though?

"There are a few shots I'd love to have back. That's the nature of curling."

So does he have one more slide left in his competitive curling career?

"No comment," he says with a smile.

Canada first? Marc Kennedy thinks we're exporting too much curling knowledge© Toby Melville/Reuters Kennedy, right, and skip Kevin Koe failed to win a medal at the 2018 Olympics. It was the first time that happened to a Canadian men's curling team.

Jamie Koe apologizes for team's drunken antics at Alberta bonspeil.
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