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I like sports....lots of sports...all sports!  Follow my blog as I talk about sports....if you like sports of course

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

#BetweenTheSheets with J.D. Lind
We talk coaching, #TeamJapan, PyeongChang and Britney Spears!! 

It has been awhile since the #TwineTime blog added a new face to the place.  A little wham to the fam.  Worry no longer #curling fans, I am hear to put some more yak in your hack!

Ok, I may have been spending some time with school age children at work playing rhyme tyme...my apologies.  But I do think you should be excited about our newest #TwineTime fam member: J.D. Lind!  J.D. is a curler.  J.D. is a coach.  J.D. has been to one Olympics and is preparing for another in only a few months time.  The unique story behind J.D. though is his coaching and Olympics experience do not come with a maple leaf on his back but rather the "Circle of the Sun".

The #growthesport theme has been elevated this season with #TeamWorld stepping up their game on the #gsoc circuit.  #TeamCanada owning the world stage.  And #TeamUpset making history along the way.  While at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Lethbridge this season, I had the opportunity to sit down with #TeamJapan coach J.D. Lind and talk about his transition from curling athlete to curling coach, his new role with a new nation, how he has seen a #growthesport movement and the excitement surrounding the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Get ready to see the sport through the mixture of a curler/coaching lens and welcome the first coach to the #TwineTime family.  Let's go #BetweenTheSheets with J.D. Lind!

Monday, 8 May 2017

#BetweenTheSheets: Sport Development Takes Centre Sheet
The #WMDCC2017 highlights the importance of the #growthesport theme

The curling season has come and gone once again and for many it was a season of celebration, trophy lifting and making some money.  Canada's Brad Gushue and Rachel Homan hoisted the ultimate prize of the year in claiming world championship victories.  Sweden's Niklas Edin hoisted a few grand slam titles and finished the year with the second-largest money haul in the history of the sport.

But championship wins and giant oversize cheques are not the only keys to success within the sport.  And not all athletes and nations competing will get to wrap themselves in the warm glow of championship victories.  For some, just being able to compete on the big ice is a victory in itself while trying to #growthesport back home to keep curling sustainable and relevant.  The sports development model is a work in progress.

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships wrapped up over a week ago in Lethbridge, Alberta.  The #TwineTime blog was fortunate enough to attend the event and have some time to talk to a few of the players competing from the "non-traditional" curling powerhouse nations.  Sure we know about Canada and USA and Sweden and Scotland and Switzerland.  We know how the sport is doing in those nations.  But what about other nations around the globe?  Do you know how the sport is doing in Poland or Latvia?  What about the other #TeamGB nations, Wales and England?  And what about the newest challenger in the America's region, Brazil?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#BetweenTheSheets: Champions Cup Closes Curling Season
Will we see #TeamCanada, #TeamWorld or #TeamUpset claim the final grand slam?

The time has arrived curling fans.  The final event of the 2016/17 curling season is about to slide out of the hack at Calgary's famed Canada Olympic Park (or COP as we call it here in #yyc).  The grand slam of curling takes centre stage as the final tour event with the Humpty's Champions Cup.

Last year marked the debut of this new grand slam event and, if you follow the #TwineTime blog, you will have read my excitement about the addition.  What a perfect way to close a season!  Let's bring back the big tour winners from the year, throw them on the ice of an iconic venue and let's just see who truly is the ultimate Champion of Champions for 2016/17.  How can you not get excited?

Some teams participating this week in Calgary have not thrown a competitive rock in weeks or maybe months.  A few others are just coming from an event in Europe.  And one team has not had a week off in over a month.  The question is which team strategy will prove to be the ultimate best decision?  Do you take some time off to prepare for the final grand slam?  Do you keep playing events hoping to remain in competitive peak performance?  Or do you risk curling fatigue by over-scheduling yourself?  All options have both good and bad possibilities.  And all options can produce a grand slam champion OR an early slam exit.

Friday, 21 April 2017

#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles 
Championship Preview
Nations leave it all on the ice for the final stop on the #RoadTo2018
The pressure is mounting.  The competition is fierce.  And, for some, time is slipping away.  39 nations are preparing to take the ice in Lethbridge, Alberta this week for the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

A world championship title is not the only important thing on the line this week though.  While all 39 tandems will be aiming to take home a world championship, this week also marks the final opportunity for nations to qualify for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.  This will be the end of the #RoadTo2018, final stop Lethbridge!

Mixed doubles will be making it's Olympic debut in Pyeongchang and each nation would love to lay claim to taking home the first Olympic gold medal in the discipline.  We never know what the future will hold for the sport and/or the discipline itself but we do know there will always be 1...as in the first duo to ever stand atop the Olympic podium.  Great Britain owns this historic feat on the men's side, winning gold at the 1924 Winter Olympics.  Interesting side note, Team GB dominated the competition, beating Sweden 38-7 and France 46-4.  #Yikes  On the women's side, Canada's Sandra Schmirler brought home the first Olympic gold at the 1998 games defeating Denmark in the final.  Which athlete and which nation can be the first in 2018?  Time will tell...but first you have to get there!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

#BetweenTheSheets with Ryan Sherrard
Canadian-born, German curling champ talks junior pressure, German curling and #TheHat

The #TwineTime blog continues to add an international flavour to the family this year rock heads and stoners.  But this time, our newest member is a bit unique.  No, I am talking about his awesome facial reactions in pictures, like the one shown above, but rather the story of why this Canadian is considered an International.

When this blog found out he was going to Edmonton to partake in the 2017 Ford World Men's Curling Championships as a member of #TeamMedia, the curling stones started spinning.  Curlers from all over the world vying for a world title....curlers fighting to earn their nation a spot in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics....curlers trying to gain some momentum to help #growthesport back home.  The plot lines were thick and abundant.  But I wanted to also seize the opportunity and really bring home something special.

Enter the lead for the German champions: Ryan Sherrard.  I have been a fan of Sherrard's since his Canadian junior championship run.  When this blog noticed him back hitting the ice this season, it was a special moment.  I reached out to him on twitter offering my congrats on returning to the game and wishing him all the best, hoping our paths may actually cross this season.  Well, 8 months later here we were.  Both in Edmonton.  One competing on the ice.  One sitting on media row.  Both getting a first experience in one way or another.