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Local rinks pumped for Olympic curling trials

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Chelsea Carey has had the first week of December circled on her calendar for eons. Ditto Mike McEwen. And now that their teams have had their tickets officially punched for the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials Roar of the Rings at MTS Centre, well, the thought of playing at home in such a huge event has them as excited as six-year-olds on Christmas morning.

"We’ve never been to a national Scotties and so to be able to play in a full-sized NHL arena is an incredible experience on its own, never mind in your hometown," said Carey in a conference call with the national curling media. "We’re big hockey fans, big Jets fans and to be able to play in their building… it’s all just pretty incredible. I don’t think for us it’s all sunk in yet."

Carey and McEwen, both of Winnipeg, are two of the four teams who officially qualified for the Roar of the Rings after last weekend’s Grand Slam Players’ Championships, along with Kevin Koe of Calgary and Sherry Middaugh of Victoria Harbour, Ont. The event, scheduled for Dec. 1-8 at MTS Centre, will determine Canada’s male and female representatives for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"For us, we haven’t had the Brier experience and what not," said McEwen. "It finally feels like we’re getting to go to the show. I guess when you combo that with playing in front of the home crowd… we’ve all talked about it, we all get goosebumps thinking about it. It’s going to be something that is a little bit indescribable."

Tickets for the event are already on sale and the draw will be released on Friday.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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