Roller-coaster ride for Scott

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

First one in, last one out.

That about sums up Kelly Scott's jumbled long and winding road to the Roar of the Rings.

At the beginning of this Olympic cycle, Scott's Kelowna foursome was at the top of its game. And, with a new qualification process in place, it seemed like a bye to Edmonton 2009 was just a matter of time.

Scott won her second of back-to-back Scotties titles in 2007 and brought home a world championship title from Aomori, Japan. That gave her two of the three majors needed for a bye and the first guaranteed spot for the pre-trials event in Prince George.

When the third major did not materialize, Scott needed a 'C' final win at the pre-trials to fulfil a dream that had cruelly teased them for 30 months since they returned from Japan.

"It was our last chance," said Scott, whose team lost the 2005 trials final to Shannon Kleibrink. "We had no more chances. We were the first team to the pre-trials and the last team to come out of there."

Oh, they had their chances all right. One loss in the final of a Players Championship. Another loss in the 2008 Canada Cup final. A win in either one would have given them a bye. The carrot dangled, but the team was unable to close.

"We fell just short of getting into the trials with the CTRS (Canadian Teams Ranking System)," said Scott. "We scraped and clawed our way through it. I guess it's only fitting that we were the last team out of Prince George."

In retrospect, it's been a tumultuous two years for the team. Scott admits her focus became somewhat diverted when she delivered her son, Nash, 19 months ago.

"It's tough to park that and turn into curling mode," said Scott. "Going through last season, I wanted to get back feeling better after my pregnancy. I curled OK, but it took a lot of work. I wasn't playing as well as I could. I had to be patient with it."

After a subpar defence of their Team Canada title at the 2008 Scotties, the team's four-year run as B.C. champs came to an end earlier this year.

There was more turmoil in the off-season as Scott replaced longtime lead Renee Simons with Jacquie Armstrong. Third Jeanna Schraeder and Sasha Carter remain with the team.

"We had seven years with the same team," said Scott. "In the world of curling that's a long time. I think all the competitive teams get it (rationale for the change). We just felt we needed to shake things up."

The team seems to be coming together at the right time, winning a Grand Slam event in Winnipeg and qualifying in Saskatoon before heading off to Prince George.

"Each time out, we seem to be getting a bit better," said Scott.

As the only B.C.-based skip at Edmonton's event, Scott understands there's going to be expectations from the province that's hosting the 2010 Olympics.

"We're OK with that," said Scott. "It's more exciting for us to have the Olympics in our home province rather than something that's putting pressure on us. To have a chance to be the home team in an Olympics being held in our province is exciting."

Scott has accomplished about all there is to do in curling, representing Canada on the world stage and winning.

"I think this Olympics is even more unique in the fact it's being held in Canada and in B.C.," said Scott. "It's more than a curling event. The world will be watching an Olympics in Canada."

Despite their trials, the glory years of Team Scott are still fresh in her mind and so are the positives.

"At least we got to play a lot of games," Scott said.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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