Canadian curlers drop first games of Paralympic Games

“You know, some days you’re one with the rock. Other days, it’s like your two completely different entities.''

 

Elite athletes live for the feeling of being in “the zone” - the sensation where your peak performance is on auto-pilot, every result is perfect, and you can’t miss.

For Canada’s wheelchair curlers, it must have felt like they were just a few inches outside of “the zone.”

“You know, some days you’re one with the rock. Other days, it’s like your two completely different entities,” said Ina Forrest, who throws third on Canada’s Paralympic team. “We just didn’t have the zen of curling today.”

Indeed, something seemed a little off as Canada dropped their second game of the day; this time to Great Britain with a final score of 8-1.

After starting the game with hammer, Canada blanked the first, missed by an inch in the second to give up a steal, and another inch to give up another steal in the third end. In the fourth, skip Mark Ideson’s draw came up only a few inches short, resulting in yet another steal. 

Canada, now with a 3-2 record, wasn’t playing badly, but they weren’t getting the results they wanted.

“We were making hits, but not sticking around,” said Forrest (Armstrong, B.C.). “Then you’re chasing after the guys who are keeping them in. It’s hard to get anything going like that.”

Canada didn’t let their frustration show. All four players on the ice were all smiles, as each new end presented an opportunity to cue the change their fortunes.

“There’s always a chance to come back,” said Forrest. “There’s no point in putting your head down and thinking you’re out of the game. It just takes a couple good ends and you’re right back in it. “

As they approach the halfway point of the 11-game round robin, they’ll take what they can from this game and move on.

“We’ll go and chat in the dressing room, and regroup,” said Forrest.  “We had a great day one day, and not-so-great the next. So, tomorrow can be better!”

Earlier, Canada suffered its first loss of the Paralympics to host South Korea.

The Koreans scored three in the first, and shut down every Canadian attack after that, finishing with a final score of 7-5. 

“Korea was going well both with their hits and their draws,” said Marie Wright (Moose Jaw, Sask.), who is playing in her first Paralympics at the age of 57. “It felt like we’d get something set up, and then do one thing wrong, and they would capitalize.”

Indeed, according to the official stats, Canada was outshot at every position, which made it hard to mount a comeback – which they were able to do yesterday, after being down 4-0 to Sweden. Some opportunities started to develop, but would evaporate as shots were missed later in the end.

“There were a couple of ends where we were set up for two, and we’d hit and roll out or something,” said Wright “And there goes your end!”

Canada was able to claw back to within one after the fifth end, but immediately surrendered another three-spot. The eighth end was looking promising until South Korean skip Jeagon Cha threw an impressive double takeout to run Canada out of rocks.

Tomorrow’s schedule includes a morning game against China, and an evening matchup against the U.S.A. Both games will be streamed live on cbcsports.ca.