PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. —; The road to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will pass through Portage la Prairie, Man.
The southern Manitoba city will host Canada’s first mixed doubles curling trials from Jan. 2-7 at Stride Place. The tournament will determine which team will wear the maple leaf at the 2018 Games. It will feature 18 teams split into two pools of nine. The top eight will advance to a modified double-knockout playoff.
“This will be an historic event,” Peter Inch of Curling Canada said in a statement. “We know the community will embrace this event.”
Mixed doubles curling will make its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang,South Korea.
Winnipegger Reid Carruthers along with Joanne Courtney helped Canada qualify for the Olympic Games with a silver medal finish at this past weekend’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. Thanks to the podium placing, Canada is now ranked first in the world.
“Our athletes have been working extremely hard in the past few years to make sure we’re at a level to compete for a medal in Pyeongchang,” national mixed doubles coach Jeff Stoughton said in a statement.
Seven of the 18 teams that will compete at the trials have already been decided. Joining Carruthers and Courtney at the event will be Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing, Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson, Rachel Homan and John Morris, Kalynn Virtue and Charley Thomas, Emma Miskew and Tyrel Griffith along with Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff.
The remaining 11 teams will be determined in the fall. Members of the four player teams Canada will send to the Olympics won’t be eligible to compete at the mixed doubles trials.