Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hometown chills set in

Prospect of Oly curling Trials at the MTS excites Carey, Stoughton

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One of them is already in. The other is still on the outside looking in.

But when Jeff Stoughton and Chelsea Carey spoke at a news conference at the MTS Centre Wednesday about the prospect of playing before a hometown crown next December for a chance to represent Canada in curling at the 2014 Winter Olympics, they both used the same word -- "chills."

And they weren't talking about the ice.

"It's a little bit hard to put into words what this opportunity would mean to the athletes," said Carey, whose Winnipeg foursome is still seeking one of the eight women's Trials berths into the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre.

"Standing here imagining curling in this facility -- it's chilling. I can't even begin to describe it, and I don't know I'd be able to even if I'd already had a spot. The rest of us are pretty jealous of Jeff and Jennifer (Jones) right now. It's going to be incredible.

"To play in an event like this in a building like this in front of your hometown crowd might be once in a lifetime."

No sooner was Carey done speaking than Stoughton strolled to the podium and used the same language to discuss what the chance to play at home in such a monumental event will mean to him.

"It does send chills up your spine. You're thinking how you can be your best next December, how you can put it all together for what will be, for myself, this one last chance to play in front of the hometown.

"We couldn't ask for anything better."

Six teams have qualified so far for the Trials and one-third of them -- Stoughton and Jones -- are from Manitoba. The others are Alberta's Kevin Martin and Heather Nedohin, Ontario's Glenn Howard and Saskatchewan's Stefanie Lawton.

With that kind of local contingent to hype, organizers held Wednesday's news conference to announce a Christmas ticket promotion that they're calling Rocks in Your Socks, in which people can buy two tickets for $39 to one of the two opening draws of the Trials, which run Dec. 1-8. Those tickets go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. and are available online at curling.ca/tickets or by phone at 877-985-2875. Full event passes have been on sale for a couple weeks.

Organizers used Wednesday's news conference to announce that their drive to register the 1,000 volunteers necessary to put on the Trials will begin Friday morning, also at curling.ca, on the Roar of the Rings volunteers page.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 6, 2012 D2

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