February 27, 2012
Alberta off to World Championships
By TERRY JONES, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Her voice, already raspy and horse, was now breaking.
“It surprises the heck out of me. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it’s possible that we’re the first Alberta team to win this since I was on the Cathy King team which won it all those years ago,” said Heather Nedohin.
For the first time in 14 years Alberta is going to the World Curling Championships.
Strange that the province which provided Canada with the last two Olympic teams — Shannon Kleibrink in Turin, Italy in 2006 and Cheryl Bernard in Vancouver in 2010 — hasn’t won the Scotties to become Team Canada since 1998.
As always seems to be the case with Nedohin, the trip won’t involve a plane.
It was in 1996, as Heather Godberson, she skipped a team out of Grande Prairie to the world junior title.
“We never left the province,” said said the Alberta skip who traveled the nation and the world watching her husband Dave and the Ferbey Four win four Briers and three world championships.
“The Peace playoffs were in Grande Prairie. The provincials were in Calgary. The Canadians were in Edmonton. The World Championships were in Red Deer.”
In 1998, playing third for King, she won the Scotties over Anne Merklinger in the final.
“Big trip. One province over. In Regina.”
They went on to the world championship ...
“One province over the other way. In Kamloops,” she said.
This year the provincials were in Leduc, the Scotties were here and the World Championships are scheduled March 17-25 in ... wait for it ... Lethbridge.
Take up curling and see the world.
Nedohin isn’t complaining.
“I think it’s a great thing. The food is good. The ice is good. And the crowd is so motivating. I took so much energy from this crowd. How could you not?”
It went both ways.
The appeal of Nedohin and her team of Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair and Laine Peters, has also been the high-wire act they’ve had going all week, including winning the semifinal over four-time champion Jennifer Jones of Manitoba on a double measurement in an extra end.
It was an enriching experience.
The Edmonton Saville Centre team not only won the trip to the Worlds, qualified for the Canada Cup and Continental Cup and the right to return next year as Team Canada, they seized $253,667 this day including prize money, cresting Sports Canada funding and Own the Podium funding.
“Holy sugar-balls,” she said.
“As a stay-at-home mom, I’m pretty happy about it.
“It’s a hard balance. Our sport takes a lot of time commitment. The support from home with Dave’s parents and the community of Sherwood Park has been amazing.”
Nedohin captivated the country with her animation, her expressions, her body language, her humour and her, ahem, “sh*tballs.”
In midweek she spouted out the unusual curse words when she missed a shot.
“I’ve heard there’s been a buzz,” she said.
“I heard it’s had about 25,000 hits,” she said of YouTube.
Nedohin and live microphones have always been a fun combination.
In 1998, at the Scotties, she was wired with a microphone for the first time for a TSN telecast.
“That has been my long-standing most embarrassing moment. I dropped the microphone in the toilet during the fifth end break. My teammates Brenda Bohmer and Katie Horne howled about that.”
“I’m trying to use the world sugar balls instead, knowing our girls are listening. It’s Laine. She says it all the time,” said the 36-year-old.
“In all the years, I’ve never heard her use that term,” said husband Dave, who was behind the boards with daughter Halle, 9, who was three when he won his last Brier, and daughter Alyssa, 6, and thinks mom is the curling star of the family.
“I’m as excited as I was when we won the Brier. The best part is Heather made a lot of sacrifices while I had my turn. Now she’s having her turn. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said Dave.
“I wouldn’t trade those years between the last time and now for anything. I had two children. We have a great marriage,” said Heather.
Alberta fell in love with her husband and friends before. Now they’re falling in love with her.