The Canadian women’s curling team opened round robin play with a 1-3 record, but they’re not counting out a medal just yet.
“Even though there’s several losses on the board, we’re still in it,” Canadian skip Rachel Homan said to reporters Saturday.
Homan’s rink has a proven track record of success as they have won three world championship medals, including gold in 2017. While the team is full of first-time Olympians, Canada still entered PyeongChang as the pre-tournament favorites.
But they didn’t play that way to start the tournament, suffering an upset loss to South Korea and a 7-6 defeat to Sweden.
Then, they dropped a third straight game, falling by one point to Denmark in extra ends.
Canadian vice skip Emma Miskew, however, believes the team played better than the results indicated.
“We’re not throwing badly,” Miskew said to reporters after the loss to Denmark. “We’re making a lot of shots out there, too. It’s just getting unfortunate on some results.”
The Canadians held a team meeting after the Denmark loss where they discussed ways to rebound from their poor start. And rebound they did.
“It was just, ‘How can we be a little bit sharper?'” Miskew said about the meeting. “A lot of it was just believing in each other, in what we’re seeing out there, and helping each other out.”
Canada tallied points early and often Saturday morning, forcing the United States to concede with the score at 11-3 after seven ends.
“We’ve never lost that faith in each other,” Homan said after the win. “Even in the games we lost we still felt we could have won them on those last shots. … Tonight was just about making small tweaks.”
A few technical adjustments were all it took prior to the match against the United States.
“We didn’t need to change a whole lot, we weren’t rewriting the book here,” Miskew said. “We just had to stick together and try to really enjoy this experience, win or lose, because you don’t know if it’s ever going to happen again.”
The Canadians still have five matches left in round robin action. The four top teams after round robin play advance to the semifinals Feb. 23. Canada currently trails first-place Sweden by three games and has one more loss than China and Great Britain, currently tied for fourth. Japan sits in second with a 4-1 record.
Canada is the only nation to have won a medal in every Olympic women’s tournament since it began in 1998. This year, Canada is seeking to become the first nation to win three curling golds in a single Olympics.
Canada’s Kaitlin Lawes and John Morris already captured gold in the mixed doubles-tournament – a brand new event these Olympics – while the men’s team is in second place in its tournament.
Despite the rough start, the Canadian women are keeping their ultimate goal in sight and staying the course.
“Teams qualify with three losses all the time,” Horman said. “We’ve just got to keep going.”