Power & Influence Summer 2017

60 things we bet you didn’t know about Canada’s curling champions, ‘Team Homan’

Named after their skip (as per curling tradition), the Ottawa-based team is a tight unit that has a long personal history; many years of experience, (despite their youth); and four sets of eyes on the big prize: Olympic Gold.

Skip, Rachel Homan; Third, Emma Miskew; Second, Joanne Courtney; and lead, Lisa Weagle. Photograph courtesy of Team Homan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:00 AM

Curling fans both local and national have cheered them on as Team Ontario or Team Canada, depending on the tournament.

Now, Lisa Weagle, Joanne Courtney, Emma Miskew, and Skip Rachel Homan are getting used to the new name of ‘world champions,’ thanks to their decisive win earlier this year in China, where they went undefeated 13-0 to take their first world title.

Named after their skip (as per curling tradition), the Ottawa-based team is a tight unit that has a long personal history; many years of experience, (despite their youth); and four sets of eyes on the big prize: Olympic Gold.

The four teammates announced earlier this year that they have put their individual careers and social lives outside of curling on ice while they focus on the road to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

  

Hometown fans will be cheering for them in December, when they play in Ottawa’s Roar of the Rings qualifier—against six other Canadian women’s curling teams—for the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf at the Olympics.

P&I asked the four women about their pre-game rituals, what they love most about Canada, and their goals for the future.

Their responses have been edited for style, length, and clarity.

 

  

Lisa Weagle | Position: Lead

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

P&I illustration by Anthony Jenkins

A crossing guard. I wanted to keep people safe and wear a bright orange vest.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

I always feel happiest when I’m near water. Hawaii with my husband for our honeymoon was pretty amazing.

  

What is your favourite book?

Running Scared by Brenda Chapman, who happens to be my mom. It was her first published novel and I know how much work she went through to realize her dream of being an author.

The thing your teammates tease you about the most?

My age! I’m the oldest on the team and they don’t let me forget it [Weagle is 32].

Everyone has a vice. What’s yours?

Watching the Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise… It’s so trashy, but I can’t stop watching.

At what age did you start curling?

Eight years old.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without?

Coffee.

Which Canadian athlete most inspires you?

I grew up watching curlers like Sandra Schmirler and Marilyn Bodogh, and wanted to one day be like them.

Early bird or night owl?

Neither, I love to sleep!

If you had a time machine, would you travel 150 years into the past, or 150 years into the future? Why?

I’d love to go forward and see the future and how much the world has changed in 150 years.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My parents always encouraged me to honour my commitments and to see things through.

What’s your no. 1 goal in the next five years?

Winning an Olympic gold medal.

What is your favourite Canadian tradition?

Singing our anthem in both official languages.

Other than Team Homan, the Canadian sports team I cheer the loudest for is…

The Toronto Blue Jays.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Realizing it’s ok to not “have it all” right now; putting curling first and my professional career on hold.

Do you have a pre-game ritual, or a superstition you feed?

I’m in charge of the team music, so I have a playlist made for the drive to the rink. We always have to listen to the same songs before each game.

 

Joanne Courtney | Position: Second

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

P&I illustration by Anthony Jenkins

I wanted to work at the local donut shop (I assumed I could eat free donuts all day).

What were you known for in high school?

Frequently responding to invites for events with “I can’t. I have curling.”

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

Safari in Tanzania – the trip of a lifetime!

What is your favourite book?

I love to read and enjoy books like Gone Girl [by Gillian Flynn]. I couldn’t put it down.

The thing your teammates tease you about the most?

I’m extremely clumsy and often don’t think before I speak, so they have a lot to work with.

Everyone has a vice. What’s yours?

Candy. Chocolate. Chips. Basically, all the junk food groups.

At what age did you start curling?

I started in little rocks when I was seven.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without:

My morning coffee.

Which Canadian athlete most inspires you?

Sandra Schmirler.

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

You don’t have to be perfect to get what you want.

What do you miss the most when you are not in Canada?

Interacting with Canadians. It’s hard to match how friendly we are!

What’s your no. 1 goal in the next five years?

I would love to go to the Olympics. I would also like to see as much of the world as possible and continue playing the sport I love.

What is your favourite Canadian tradition?

As a sugar lover, I always enjoy la cabane à sucre [maple sugar shacks].

Other than Team Homan, the Canadian sports team I cheer the loudest for is…

The Blue Jays.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

I have struggled with nerves in big games and that would lead to below-average performances.

Do you have a pre-game ritual, or a superstition you feed?

I try not to change too much when we’re on a winning streak, and will usually stick with the same jersey and socks.

 

Emma Miskew | Position: Third

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

P&I illustration by Anthony Jenkins

An Olympic athlete.

What were you known for in high school?

A curler and an over-achiever.

What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken?

A week in Jamaica to relax. I love it there.

What is your favourite book?

The Harry Potter series!

The thing your teammates tease you about the most?

Probably my OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder], or my extreme organization.Everyone has a vice. What’s yours?

My incessant need to clean.

At what age did you start curling?

Five years old.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without?

Assuming we can’t say any living things, I’ll say tea.

Which Canadian athlete inspires you the most?

Milos Raonic for his constant drive to the top.

Early bird or night owl?

Kind of neither! I like my sleep … but I’d have to say night owl, if anything.

If you had a time machine, would you travel 150 years into the past, or 150 years into the future? Why?

Into the future. I can read about what happened 150 years ago, but no one knows what will happen 150 years from now.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Stop caring what other people think of you.

What do you miss the most when you are not in Canada?

The kindness of Canadians.

What’s your no. 1 goal in the next five years?

To win an Olympic Gold medal for Canada.

What is your favourite Canadian tradition?

Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Other than Team Homan, the Canadian sports team I cheer the loudest for is…

The Ottawa Senators!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Becoming a world champion.

Do you have a pre-game ritual, or a superstition you feed?

We all sit in the same spots in the car on the way to games and blast music!

 

Rachel Homan | Position: Skip

What were you known for in high school?

P&I illustration by Anthony Jenkins

Sports.

Maple syrup or ketchup?

Maple syrup.

The thing your teammates tease you about the most?

My bad memory.

At what age did you start curling?

Five.

Name one thing you couldn’t live without?

Tea.

Which Canadian athlete inspires you the most?

Connor McDavid.

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl.

What’s your no. 1 goal in the next five years?

To win Olympic Gold.

Other than Team Homan, the Canadian sports team I cheer the loudest for is…

The Ottawa Senators.