Martin unsure about Olympics

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Kevin Martin knew yesterday was going to be a bye day.

So, before heading home to reaquaint himself with his family, he had to take care of a bit of business.

If nothing else, by the time he gets back for tomorrow's final, he should be well rested.

"I've been going for a week here," he said about stepping out of the spotlight of his hometown event.

"I'm getting a chance to get some sleep at home in my own bed. I'll be well rested and that'll be good."

There's a certain irony to Martin's situation.

Of the surviving teams, he's the only skip to not have won a major event at Rexall Place.

Jeff Stoughton won the Brier here in 1999 and Glenn Howard won the world championship here in 2007.

Whatever pressure Martin felt performing in front of the hometown crowd evaporated when he won them over Thursday night. His shot for three in the ninth and got the loudest cheer of the week.

"That was sure nice," Martin said. "For me, since 1992, the biggest pressure is trying to get back to the Olympics. To have a chance to win it in your hometown is definitely a bonus."

What Martin is really excited about is the fact the final three have been proven performers over the years.

They're the same three teams that battled it out in the 2009 Brier, and that should be good news for Canada's medal hopes in Vancouver.

"That's no big surprise," said Martin about the final three. "Any of these teams would be a good representative. I would cheer for Jeff or Glenn if they win and I'm sure they would cheer for our team if we win.

"All three teams have won on the international stage. Each team has performed well under pressure."

Martin understands that this was the best possible scenario, not only for this event, but for the future direction of the sport.

"It's good for Canada," said Martin. "It's good for curling in a lot bigger way than most people realize. It's going to be important for the growth in juniors, TV and the corporate image of the sport. The final three are the best teams in Canada, which is a good thing."

Martin is far from pencilling himself in for his third Olympic appearance, even though he has hammer advantage.

"We'll try our best," Martin said. "You can play as long as you want and still not be able to win."

This time, it will be as tough as it gets.

Martin has come a long way since shooting just 64% in his loss to Pat Simmons earlier this week. He finished the week much lower in the skips rankings than he's been accustomed to, even though the team found a way to finish first and get a bye into the final.

Their only loss came early in the week and they kicked it in with five straight wins to end the round-robin.

"John (third Morris) has been playing real well," said Martin. "Our front end has been solid from the start and it took me a couple of games to get it going.

"When we won those two games (Tuesday), that turned the week around for us. Once you get that kind of play, you can go for it and let the chips fall where they may."

Tomorrow, Martin has a chance to get into his third Olympics with his third different lineup.

There's some unfinished business from the first two and that's what keeps him going.

CON.GRIWKOWSKY@SUNMEDIA.CA

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