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Miskew: Day in the life of a GSOC team

We’re so excited to be playing in our second Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of this season in Truro, N.S.

Television coverage on Sportsnet started Thursday and you’ll be watching your favourite teams throughout the event. However, I bet some of you are wondering what the teams get up to when they aren’t battling it out on the ice and on your TV. Given that the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling travels across Canada, this might look a little different from event to event, but there are some constants for Team Homan.

For the majority of our events, we fly in either the day before or the morning of the competition. A lot of our events take place in smaller communities, so we often have a team rental van to travel from the airport to our final destination. In the van, we all have our roles: I’m the driver, Joanne Courtney is the navigator, and the other two — Rachel Homan and Lisa Weagle — sit in their specific spots behind us. There’s never a lack of great music during our car rides with DJ Lisa, which makes the commutes fun!

Once we arrive at our destination and check in at our hotel, the next thing we do is search out the top-rated restaurants in the town and check out their menus. One thing you might not know about Team Homan is that we love good, healthy food. We’ll usually try out what we expect will be our favourite restaurant on the first night we get there, and if we like it, we’ll go back to that place pretty much every day during the event … and if we each like a particular dish, we’re likely to have it over and over again. We like to support the local establishments and find new places all over the map. We often find ourselves back in that same community at some point in our career too.

With the 15 women teams split up into three pools of five for the majority of events and round-robin format during the first four days, we typically play a single game a day with possibly one day with two games. This leaves a lot of downtime to fill, especially on those one-game days when it is either in the morning or at night. For us, depending on which town we are visiting, we fill our time doing a few different things. Aside from the less exciting, but necessary, activities like catching up on individual work or school work, we like to get out and do things as a team.

Weather permitting, we enjoy going on challenging hikes or on long walks, and somewhere that we’ll find dogs whose owners will let us pet them. Anyone who has seen our social media knows how much we all adore dogs! Walking and hiking are also great ways to get our muscles activated while seeing some of the local sights. If there’s a mall around, you might find us there doing a bit of shopping, especially when we’re getting closer to Christmas and it’s crunch time getting last-minute gifts.

And … we play a lot of cards, hearts to be specific. It gets very competitive, and I won’t say who wins the most, but we all very much enjoy it.

After all that fun, albeit low-key team time, we get to go play a game in the sport that we love in front of supportive crowds of all ages.

The crowds are always awesome and the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling staff and volunteers ensure these events have an intimate feel for both the players and the supporters of the game.

Sometimes the days or the flights and drives can be long but it’s easy for us to look forward to competing in these events and we feel so lucky to have this opportunity to step on that ice every single time.

The memories we have made on the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling are incredible and we’re looking forward to making many more.