Stephanie Hanna

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

Stephanie Hanna believes superstition takes precedence over curling tradition.

As the lead on her older sister's team, she is obligated under the sport's time-honoured code to carry the team brooms to the ice before each game.

But she doesn't go near them.

"It's bad luck if I touch the brooms before we go out on the ice," Hanna says. "That's how I get out of carrying the bags."

Her teammates don't allow the exemption after games.

This twist to tradition began earlier in the year.

"It just felt like every time I was carrying the brooms out, we were losing. So I just stopped touching them."

Hanna takes her curling seriously, but likes to have fun out on the ice.

She recalls telling a joke during a tense moment at last year's provincial championship that made her and teammate Dawn Askin snicker uncontrollably when the spectators were absolutely silent.

Hanna also likes to have fun off the ice.

She considers herself a decent karaoke performer who can turn a good note, especially on songs by country artists.

Her best performance came a few years ago when she belted out Sold by country artist John Michael Montgomery.

"Serious is not something I usually am," she says.

"I'm serious on the ice, but that's about the only time, unless it comes down to somebody else on the team is feeling a little down, then my seriousness is just gone."

FUN TIMES

That's when she tries to figure out a way to erase the tension and cheer things up.

"The girls I'm curling with make it fun. I'll always have fun when I step on the sheet with those girls," she says. "It doesn't matter what level we're playing at."

Stephanie has a social sciences degree with a criminology major from the University of Ottawa, and is working toward another degree with a psychology major.

Where is the schooling going to lead?

"To taking another degree," she laughs.

She plans to take a course in early childhood education, then follow up with teacher's college.

"I want to be a teacher," she says, "and after I retire, I want to run my own daycare."


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