Gauthier in the house

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:18 AM ET

The irony of this situation is certainly not lost on her.

Cathy Gauthier, who felt she had to leave the Jennifer Jones squad to commit more time to her young family, will be working for TSN during the Canadian Curling Trials in Halifax, where Jones will be vying for an Olympic berth.

"It'll be bizarre," Gauthier admitted from Ottawa yesterday. "It's going to be a tough week for me, for sure. But I'd rather be there than sitting home on my couch watching."

With TSN returning to cover curling, they asked Gauthier to become part of their popular broadcast team again. Gauthier will interview players, icemakers and others before games, at the fifth-end break and will conduct post-game interviews as Winnipeg's Ray Turnbull, Vic Rauter and Linda Moore will be back in the broadcast booth.

"I'll be on the ice but not in uniform," said Gauthier. "This will be the hardest week I've ever had to experience. This will be the first time they will be at something that I earned a spot into going after the same goal (Olympics) that I wanted to go after. Covering the Scott (Tournament of Hearts) will be tough, too but not as hard as this one."

Gauthier felt all along that fate would bring her to the trials which start Saturday. But she was disappointed when Jones did not ask her to come as the team's fifth.

Although Georgina Wheatcroft has replaced her at lead, Gauthier's heart will still be with the team she helped form before last season started.

"It will be just impossible to disengage," Gauthier said. "And it will be tough no matter what they do. And if they don't do well, that doesn't mean it was because I wasn't there."

Gauthier's ex-husband, Ron, will be watching the kids while she is in Halifax. Gauthier has also been hired to cover both the Scott and the Brier, which begs the question why she felt she had to leave Jones in the first place.

"It was because of the time commitment to practise every day, working out last summer and doing all that bonspieling," Gauthier explained.

TSN will televise two draws a day through next Thursday, then broadcast both the women's and men's semifinals next Friday. CBC will then show the women's final on Saturday afternoon and the men's final on Sunday afternoon.

BITERS: Springfield skip Karen Young has been hors de combat this season with a bad back. Third Jan Sandison has moved up to skip with Tammy Radchenka at third. They won $1,250 for qualifying at a Manitoba Curling Tour spiel in Stonewall last weekend ... The firm deadline for entry into the MCA's 118th Annual Bonspiel is Jan. 5, 2006, with the number of entries limited to 448 teams.

House Cleaning

Granite's Howie Restall beat Valour Road's Ryan Fry 8-4 in the men's final of the World/Manitoba Curling Tour's Interlake Pharmacy Classic in Stonewall late Monday to win $8,000. Fry got $4,000 ... In the women's final, Janet Harvey's red-hot Fort Rouge foursome defeated Assiniboine Memorial's Patti Burtnyk 11-8 to earn $5,000. Burtnyk, who now has her sister, Marnie Ross, at third, pocketed $2,500 ... Manitoba's Vic Peters earned $6,000 at a WCT spiel in Yorkton, Sask. ... Lac du Bonnet's Les Hooper won last week's Masters berth bonspiel.

Coming Up

The Target junior men's and women's city zone playdowns will be held at the Deer Lodge Curling Club tomorrow through Sunday. The junior rural zones also go this weekend ... The World/Manitoba Curling Tour's Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy is also on this weekend, with the MCT's new Courtesy Freight Curling Classic in Thunder Bay, Ont., and its old Enns Brothers Classic in Morris at the same time.


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