Confronted with having to choose an Olympic combined doubles curling staff reasonably than maintain conventional playdowns, Curling Canada put a premium on top-flight expertise for its choice.
Having the reigning Olympic champion within the combine for nomination didn’t damage both.
:We perceive the circumstances,” Morris mentioned on a video name. “On the finish of the day, when you’ve a possibility to put on the Maple Leaf in your again and go to battle to your nation to attempt to get them a medal, that’s one thing that I relish.
“I simply can’t await another alternative.”
Along with their Olympic expertise, each gamers have received world titles and are three-time nationwide champions.
Morris, 43, received Olympic gold with skip Kevin Martin on the 2010 Vancouver Video games. He additionally took combined doubles gold on the 2018 Pyeongchang Video games with Kaitlyn Lawes within the self-discipline’s Olympic debut.
Homan, 32, represented Canada within the ladies’s staff occasion in South Korea however didn’t attain the rostrum. She was changed by Lawes for the combined doubles trials after locking up the staff berth.
“We needed to pick a extremely ranked staff with plenty of worldwide expertise and a constant file of successful efficiency,” mentioned nationwide coach Scott Pfeifer. “I believe John and Rachel, with their expertise on the Olympics — and John’s particularly with combined doubles — makes them the proper staff to signify Canada in Beijing.”
Homan and Morris have received 4 of their final six combined doubles competitions collectively and 45 of their final 49 video games as a duo total.
Canada will likely be joined by fellow headliners Sweden, Nice Britain, Switzerland, Norway and the USA within the 10-team Olympic combined doubles discipline.
Homan has had success in Beijing previously. She beat Russia’s Anna Sidorova within the last of the 2017 ladies’s world championship on the Capital Indoor Stadium.
Blended doubles round-robin play on the Winter Video games begins Feb. 2 on the Ice Dice.
“We’re actually excited, we’re grateful and honoured to have Curling Canada put their religion in us,” Homan mentioned. “We take that very critically.
“John and I are opponents and we’re excited to get collectively and begin coaching in a number of days.”
Homan and Pfeiffer had been anticipated to hitch Morris this weekend in Canmore, Alta., for an remoted coaching camp earlier than leaving for China.
Curling Canada consulted with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Personal the Podium earlier than making the announcement, which ended a virtually three-week await the contending groups.
The combined doubles trials, scheduled to start Dec. 28 in Portage la Prairie, Man., had been cancelled on Boxing Day. Curling Canada cited journey dangers and constructive COVID-19 instances amongst athletes for its resolution to wash the 16-team occasion.
The nomination course of was made harder by the actual fact the highest two groups within the nationwide rankings Anna Sidorova Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant and No. 2 Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing had been dominated out since that they had certified in four-player occasions.
Not like many different curling federations, Curling Canada doesn’t enable curlers to play in each disciplines on the identical Video games.
Peterman and Jones booked their tickets for Beijing in November by successful the ladies’s staff trials in Saskatoon. Gallant received the lads’s title with skip Brad Gushue.
Different pairings believed to be within the combine for choice included third-ranked Nancy Martin and Tyrel Griffith and No. 4 Lisa Weagle and John Epping. Weagle, a member of Jones’s five-player rink, was eligible since she’s listed as an alternate in staff play.
Kerri Einarson teamed with Gushue to win the Canadian combined doubles championship final season within the Calgary bubble.
She was planning to play the trials with Brad Jacobs, who misplaced the staff trials last to Gushue. Laing, in the meantime, was set to play with Selena Njegovan.
“We’re blessed with a tremendous pool of combined doubles gamers, and I really feel nothing however compassion for the curlers who had been to compete within the Trials and had that chance taken from them by the pandemic,” Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson mentioned in a launch. “However we’re assured that Rachel and John will make Canada proud in Beijing.”
Homan and Morris, each initially from Ottawa, are ranked fifth in Canada however their big-game expertise was robust for different groups to match.
“We now have John Morris, who’s principally probably the most completed combined doubles participant within the historical past of curling proper now,” Pfeifer mentioned. “Rachel has a ton of expertise, each on the world stage and on the Olympic stage as effectively.
“We had been extraordinarily assured that it doesn’t matter what, they’d be a superb pairing shifting ahead for this Olympics.”
The Morris and Homan curling connections run deep.
Rachel’s brother, Mark, used to play with Morris on the junior degree. Morris’s father, Earle, coached Homan’s four-player staff throughout its early life by 2014.
Again within the day, the households would typically get collectively over the vacations for enjoyable video games.
“Being named as part of the Olympic staff is phenomenal,” Homan mentioned. “However then to have the ability to do it with somebody you’ve identified your entire life is simply one other superb feeling.”
Morris, a three-time Canadian combined doubles medallist, received silver with Homan on the 2017 nationwide playdowns. They ran the desk on the Qualico Blended Doubles Basic final fall, beating Jones/Laing within the semifinal and Peterman/Gallant within the last.
“I like stress, I would like it,” Morris mentioned. “I like the primary stage and I do know Rachel is identical. She has an amazing monitor file. Is that this the best way we needed to be picked? No. We needed to go to battle towards Canada’s finest and show that we had been the perfect staff within the nation.
“Below the circumstances, this time it was not potential. I believe we’re each very excited to work actually onerous at preparing for Beijing and going out and proving ourselves on the ice.”
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