Kleibrink not cluttered with Oly thoughts

TERRY FARRELL, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

GRANDE PARAIRIE -- If Team Kleibrink had an official theme song for this week's participation in the Grand Slam of Curling Grey Power Players' Championship, it might very well be Bobby McFerrin's 1988 hit song Don't Worry, Be Happy.

As one of the two women's rinks already qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials in Edmonton later this year (Jennifer Jones is the other), there's not much pressure on the collective shoulders of Shannon Kleibrink, Amy Nixon (third), Bronwen Webster (second) and lead Chelsey Bell.

"It's nice to have that out of the way," said Kleibrink, after a 9-8 extra-end victory over Kelly Scott Wednesday.

"Other teams are still talking about points and we don't care. There has already been a lot of points-watching this week, because teams want to know what the other teams are doing. For us it's just about the curling this week and that makes it so much more fun."

The Kleibrink rink - or at least half of it - will challenge in Edmonton to return to the Olympic stage. She and Nixon were the back end of the 2006 bronze medal-winning rink in Turin, Italy.

In essence, they are the Olympic team, until someone takes that away from them.

"I guess so," Kleibrink said with a laugh. "But that's a long time ago now."

A long time ago, but fresh in Nixon's mind. She's been focused on 2010 almost since the plane landed back in Calgary after Turin.

"Fairly close to that," she said of the time frame. "It probably started about three weeks after we got home, to tell the truth, so it's a good feeling to know that after three years of work, we're finally there. We know we have a chance at it."

While Webster and Bell were not in Italy, they are by no means newcomers to the Kleibrink rink. Webster joined the team in the fall of 2006 and Bell came at the beginning of the 2007-08 season.

"It was a great opportunity for me, being asked to join the team," said Webster. "Amy and I played a lot against each other as juniors in Calgary, but had never been together before. The last three years have been great."

Bell said the bonding when she arrived on the scene at the beginning of the 2007 season was instant.

"You never know how it's going to turn out. You always hope for the best, but pretty much from Day 1, everything fit into place and we all get along really well," she said. "I couldn't ask for anything more than that."

She echoed the sentiments of the entire team, saying that with the trials out of the way, this week is all about enjoying the curling experience.

"We knew at the Canada Cup that we had already earned our spot at the trials, and we really noticed how much more relaxed we were there," she said. "The result was that we ended up winning, so I think (it) makes a difference, for sure."


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