Rachel Homan is an Olympian, a World Curling champion and a three-time Scotties winner.
But the Ottawa skip’s latest accomplishment is becoming a mother. In June, Homan gave birth to a boy named Ryatt with her husband, Shawn Germain, at her side.
Homan played last year’s Scotties while pregnant and made it to the final before losing 8-6 to Alberta’s Chelsea Carey. Homan’s second, Joanne Courtney, was also pregnant during the Scotties and had her baby boy in July.
“Definitely different challenges,” Homan said of last year’s Scotties. “A different kind of slide, a different kind of technique and things like that. But we managed it pretty well. Got to the final, didn’t quite win, but we had a great run and a really great year managing two pregnancies on the team, so it was really good.”
Balancing motherhood with being a member of one of the best curling teams in the world is also no easy task. In September, at the Colonial Square Ladies Curling Classic in Saskatoon, Courtney — who’s working her way back into playing shape — didn’t play in the tournament’s semifinal or final, forcing Homan to get a last-minute sub. Ashley Quick, who’s never played with Homan before, lived 10 minutes away from the rink and was asked to sub. Clearly, she did an admirable job as they ended up winning the event.
“Lots more packing and lots more bags on the road,” Homan said on her first season as a mom. “It definitely changes things between games and sleep at night, but it’s going good so far and just keep managing it the best we can by getting the rest we need and making sure that family life is there, too. So, balancing two priorities, really.”
Homan and her team, including baby Ryatt, are in Portage la Prairie this weekend for the Canad Inns Women’s Classic. Homan won the event in 2016 and is aiming to do so again, but the team has a bit of a different mindset this time around.
“We’re still kind of getting back and getting our feet underneath us from pregnancy and having our boys over the summer,” Homan said after beating Switzerland’s Elena Stern to improve to 3-0.
“We’re almost full steam ahead, but still being cautious. We don’t want to injure ourselves for no reason. We’re starting the season a bit slower. Still playing in the same events, but having a few spares here and there and it’s going really well.”
This weekend also serves as a perfect tune-up for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters which kicks off in North Bay, Ont., on Tuesday.
“Top Manitobans, top (teams) from all over the country are here. Even overseas, you got a Korean team, a Japanese team, Scotland’s here... everyone’s here,” Homan said. “This is right before one of our Slams and it works well to come to this one. It’s great to get a lot of games under our belt. With it being a triple knockout, you can play a lot of games here, so we’re hoping we can win one more here.”