Scott's gym-dandy run

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

HALIFAX -- Before Kelly Scott was a curler, she was a gymnast. She was a little girl on a beam with an Olympic dream. Then she fell off the beam.

"I watched those gymnasts at the Olympics, mesmerized by them,'' said Scott. "They were very inspirational. I wanted to be an Olympian just like them.''

Today, she's one win away. As a curler.

"I broke my arm. I fell off the beam, warming up, not even competing. I took up curling. I started as a skip. You can't sweep with a broken arm,'' said the 5-foot-0 former junior teammate of Jennifer Jones in Winnipeg.

"I think falling off that beam stunted my growth,'' laughed Scott, who skipped the world junior champions in 1995.

The little girl who fell off the beam has been on the beam all week at the Olympic Trials and despite losing her second game of the tournament here yesterday still finished first with a 7-2 record.

Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink, on the brink of elimination for days, won her fifth in a row to end up 6-3 and finish second.

Kleibrink will play the winner of the Sherry Middaugh-Stefanie Lawton morning tiebreaker in an afternoon semifinal. The winner advances against Scott's B.C. rink in the final tomorrow afternoon.

"One win away. One more solid performance,'' she said of going to Torino and the 20th Olympic Winter Games.

"It started as one chance in a million, got down to one chance in 10 and now it's 50%.

"Everyone said this was going to be wide open and it was. It takes a lot of luck and we've had our share of good luck,'' added the accounts receivable representative in the finance department of the City of Kelowna who said she's not going to press her luck by spending her day off going to the casino here.

"I don't want to waste it,'' she laughed.

Scott says she has no idea if they'll come to the rink to watch the tie-breaker and the semi-final today or watch it back at the hotel on TV.

"Actually, I'm not even sure if I want to watch them,'' she said. "I've had just the best week. I've enjoyed myself so much,'' said the Winnipeg-born 28-year-old skip who started curling at age 11, the youngest junior ever in the Manitoba bonspiel.

She also set a record for most consecutive appearances in the event through to when she turned 19.

Scott, who qualified for here at the Canada Cup West in Edmonton, is the youngest member of her rink which includes Jeanna Schreader, Sasha Carter and Renee Simons.

Kleibrink made it five wins in a row to finish second and was surprised she wasn't playing in a tiebreaker.

"To finish second after where we started early in the week is pretty amazing,'' said the skip who finished second with a 6-3 record eight years ago and lost to Sandra Schmirler in the final and watched Schmirler The Curler go to Nagano and win Olympic gold.

"The right team won that one,'' she said. "Hopefully we'll be the right team to win this one.''

Middaugh beat Colleen Jones with a last rock "run back and hope we score shot'' to create the tie-breaker with Lawton whom she beat to stay alive the night before and lost to Kleibrink 7-3 in yesterday's final draw.

"We're going in with a win and she's going in with two losses,'' said Middaugh.


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