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Sports Women provide successful test of Calgary's curling bubble ahead of Brier

04:12  02 march  2021
04:12  02 march  2021 Source:   msn.com

Tournament of Hearts first test of Curling Canada's Calgary bubble

  Tournament of Hearts first test of Curling Canada's Calgary bubble CALGARY — Kerri Einarson will miss having her twin daughters ask her when can they go to the hotel pool. The skip of the reigning Canadian women's curling champions says those moments are mental breaks from the intensity of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The 2021 Tournament of Hearts opening Friday starts a run of four spectator-free Curling Canada events in Calgary in a controlled environment to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Einarson's daughters won't wait by the rink boards at the home end of the ice to celebrate or commiserate as they did on championship weekend in Moose Jaw, Sask., last year. "They're my support team," Einarson said.

CALGARY — Kerri Einarson will miss having her twin daughters ask her when can they go to the hotel pool. © Provided by The Canadian Press. The skip of the reigning Canadian women ' s curling champions says those moments are mental breaks from the intensity of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The 2021 Tournament of Hearts opening Friday starts a run of four spectator-free Curling Canada events in Calgary in a controlled environment to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Curling Canada says it' s still working with the different levels of government on health protocols, but the idea is to borrow from the successful bubbles built by the NHL and NBA last summer. And we don't know who. Even if every curler is up for the bubble , deciding which teams get to compete could be tough. Curling Canada says it expects every province and territory to be represented at the Scotties and the Brier , as usual. But provincial/territorial curling associations are, for the most part, small-time operations that might find it too challenging to stage their qualifying tournaments this year.

CALGARY — All systems are go for the Canadian men's curling championship after the women proved elite curling can happen in a pandemic.

a person taking a selfie in a room © Provided by The Canadian Press

Curling Canada says no one tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts which concluded Sunday in Calgary.

In an arena with no spectators, Kerri Einarson's team from Gimli, Man., claimed a second straight title.

"We said at the start of the week if we sent everybody home healthy, then we did our job," said Curling Canada's Nolan Thiessen, who among his many titles is director of event presentation, innovation and athlete liaison.

Representation on world stage not guaranteed for Hearts winner this year

  Representation on world stage not guaranteed for Hearts winner this year One of the main carrots for the winning team at the Canadian women's curling championship is not guaranteed this year. Normally the Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion represents Canada on the world stage later in the season. But that tradition may be skipped in 2021 given the recent cancellation of the world playdowns, originally planned for late March in Switzerland. In its Hearts media guide, Curling Canada said the national champions would represent Canada if the world championship was rescheduled for this season. But that appears to be a long shot.

The Canadian women ' s curling championship kicks off a run of four spectator-free Curling Canada events in Calgary .

Breaking down the Calgary curling bubble . Sports. 2 months agoVideo. 5:34. Devin Heroux is joined by six-time Scotties medallist Colleen Jones to discuss the announcement of the Calgary curling bubble . "So much is riding on this Olympic qualifying season, we had to make sure that the fields for both the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier includes Canada' s top teams. With many of them not having the chance to earn their way into these events through the traditional route, we feel this is the best possible way to remedy that issue," said Katherine Henderson, CEO of Curling

"The women that came and participated did amazing. They took everything seriously. They just did whatever they needed to do to make sure they could compete.

"Proof of concept. They've shown it can be done. It's on everybody else who descends into the bubble to do what we need to do."

About 500 on-site tests were conducted during the Hearts with no positive tests, Thiessen said Monday

The Hearts was the first of four Curling Canada events relocated to Calgary in a hub-city model walling participants off from the general public.

The men start arriving Tuesday in Calgary for the men's national championship, the Tim Hortons Brier, opening Friday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre.

The 35-team field for the national mixed doubles March 18-25 will be announced Tuesday. The men's world championship follows April 3-11.

Women provide successful test of Calgary's curling bubble ahead of Brier

  Women provide successful test of Calgary's curling bubble ahead of Brier CALGARY — All systems are go for the Canadian men's curling championship after the women proved elite curling can happen in a pandemic. Curling Canada says no one tested positive for the COVID-19 virus during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts which concluded Sunday in Calgary. In an arena with no spectators, Kerri Einarson's team from Gimli, Man., claimed a second straight title. "We said at the start of the week if we sent everybody home healthy, then we did our job," said Curling Canada's Nolan Thiessen, who among his many titles is director of event presentation, innovation and athlete liaison. "The women that came and participated did amazing.

Planning for holding the events in Calgary is ongoing, and organizers are in contact with the Alberta government as they work through the evolving health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If officials from Curling Canada – the country' s governing body for the sport – and all levels of government are able to reach a deal, these curling events would most likely be hosted out of Canada Olympic Park in Calgary . That venue would then play host to the Scotties, Brier , men' s world curling championship, mixed doubles nationals as well as two Grand Slam of Curling events.

The Curling Canada announcement headline said it "aims" to hold a series of events in the hub city. Sportsnet said it' s "setting its sights" on hosting the two Slams in a bubble . In other words, the plan is not exactly a lock. Alberta Health has given provisional approval for the concept and health protocols, but Protocols won't be finalized until shortly before the beginning of competition, Curling Canada said. The federation will look to follow models used by the NHL and the NBA earlier this year. Hockey bubbles were successful in Edmonton and Toronto and the basketball hub worked near Orlando.

A pair of Grand Slams, which are Rogers Sportsnet's properties, are also scheduled for Calgary in April.

The women were confined to the arena and their hotel on either side of Trans-Canada Highway in Calgary's west end, and drove themselves back and forth in rental cars.

They bought into testing and self-isolation before and after arrival in Calgary, regular temperature checks, mandatory masks off the ice, and no socializing at the hotel with other teams with nary an eye roll or sigh, Thiessen said.

The women accepted Curling Canada needed to do what Alberta Health required so they could curl.

"There were times when they were like 'oh, what are we supposed to be doing here?' but not in a bad way," Thiessen said.

"We have a chief medical officer on site and they are responsible for that piece of it. It wasn't a curling person making a medical decision.

"Any time we told them anything health and safety related, they knew it was us passing on the information."

A capsule look at teams competing in the Canadian men's curling championship

  A capsule look at teams competing in the Canadian men's curling championship A capsule look at the 18 teams competing in the March 5-14 Canadian men's curling championship in Calgary (team members listed skip to lead along with home club location). Teams listed in alphabetical order in their pools: POOL A ALBERTA Brendan Bottcher, Darren Moulding, Brad Thiessen, Karrick Martin; Edmonton. Bottcher is looking to end a streak of three straight second-place finishes at the Brier. Don Bartlett will handle coaching duties. He won in Calgary in 1997 with Kevin Martin — Karrick's father — at skip.

Add two more competitions to the Calgary curling “ bubble ” that’ s slated to hold several events later this season. The Grand Slam of Curling said Thursday that it plans to host The Players’ Championship and Champions Cup at Winsport’ s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary . Dates have yet to be finalized, but both The announcement comes two days after Curling Canada first unveiled curling hub plans for the Alberta city. The federation intends to hold the 2021 men’ s and women ’ s national championships, the mixed doubles championship and the men’ s world curling championship in Calgary .

CALGARY – Curling ‘ s sweeping saga is heating up again ahead of the men’ s and women ’ s Canadian curling championships. The Frankenbroom controversy of 2015 has sprouted a second head on the eve of curling ’ s marquee events and could create tension between teams. But new issues with currently legal brooms have left curling ’ s governing bodies with little time to react before the Canadian championships. The Scotties Tournament of Hearts main draw starts Saturday in Grande Prairie, Alta. The Tim Hortons Brier follows March 5-13 in Ottawa.

Northwest Territories third Jo-Ann Rizzo's bout of food poisoning on the first night of the tournament was a test run of some pandemic protocols.

While the CMO was convinced it was a stomach bug, Rizzo was tested anyway. She and her teammates isolated in their rooms all day awaiting the result.

N.W.T.'s game against Canada that day was postponed two days to what was a morning off for all teams.

"It definitely showed a good reason why we kept a draw open in the middle of the week," Thiessen said. "It showed a good reason for what our protocols were and why we put safety first.

"We're not expecting to go this whole thing with every day going exactly according to plan and there's no health issues. That hasn't been the case with any sport."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Portable, rapid-testing units grease wheels in Calgary curling bubble, Canadian sport .
CALGARY — The men curling in the Canadian championship don't much care there's a small, silver box processing their nasal and throat swabs in a matter of hours, but the result it produces matters deeply to them. A portable rapid-test unit the size of a tissue box not only greased the wheels for the curling bubble in Calgary, but it's also used in other sports across Canada to test for the COVID-19 virus. The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee purchased 17 Hyris Bcube units from Songbird Life Sciences in Guelph, Ont., and tasked Own The Podium with their deployment.

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