2015 Scotties Canadian Women's Curling Championship: Opening Weekend

I'm back! The 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian Women's Curling Championship is being held in Moose Jaw, SK and I was happy to be asked to revive my job as that media girl who films/edits the media scrums! I've been looking forward to it ever since last year's Canada Cup, which was a good time.

I flew out to Moose Jaw on Friday morning. I chatted to a curling fan sitting beside me on the plane. I chatted to curling fans waiting for my luggage. I chatted to curling fans waiting for the shuttle. I chatted to curling volunteers/staff on the shuttle. This is why I keep saying yes to doing these events: the people are so fantastic! Everyone, staff, volunteers, curlers, fans, every single one is super friendly and happy to chat curling or otherwise. This is why I keep coming back. Sure, I could go on a fancy holiday somewhere fancy (or warmer) but I've learned over the years it's not about where you go, it's about who you're with. And I'd much rather chatter to curling strangers and friends than go exploring the world on my own. So that's that.

Pretty. Flat.

On the shuttle from Regina to Moose Jaw, it struck me that Saskatchewan really is flat, flatter than Alberta, but beautiful country. I was in Moose Jaw for the 2012 Canada Cup and I remember the city being very friendly. Also, the arena is perfect because it's smallish and right across the street from a Safeway, which is very important as otherwise I'd have to eat arena food for 10 days! After checking in to the hotel, I walked the 5mins to the arena. See, perfect.

Location, location, location.

I got my accreditation and acclimated to the venue. I set up my laptop and 'stuff' in the media room, and helped set up the lights for the scrum area. Then I watched the Hot Shot Qualifier for a bit, caught up with a CCA (Canadian Curling Association) friend for a bit, relaxed at the hotel for a bit, then headed to the opening banquet. I'm not much for small talk so I always find those things a bit awkward but I did have some lovely conversations with Cathy Overton-Clapham and a few fantastic CCA/Krueger people. I always learn so much about the business of curling from these great people. And, as I've never been to a Scotties banquet, I learned all about how the jewelry for the curlers works: after they win their province, the get a 4 Heart pendent and then every year they qualify after they get a diamond (up to 4), then for the 6th trip to the Scotties they get a tennis bracelet with a diamond every year after, and for every Scotties win they get a ring and progressively bigger diamond every year after. And Cathy O has been there the most so she has an extra special bracelet. Lot's of gold and diamonds but diamonds are a girl's best friend, right? (I'll keep my opinions on that to myself, but will admit the jewelry is pretty - you'll be able to see the pendants on TSN).

Hot Shots qualifier - one of my favourite events - wish I had those skills!

Saturday I woke up to wind and snow and cold. I made it to the arena too late to catch all the opening ceremonies, but did see some past Saskatchewan Scotties winners throw out the first stone. Then I prepped a bit, and watched the Hot Shot finals. How cool was it that Heather Strong (NL) won twice in a row! It's a hard event to win and I love that the superstar skips rarely win it - it's someone else who plays lights out and takes home the truck!

Newfoundland/Labrador for the win!

Wrong box!

One of my favourite parts of working these events is walking around backstage. I love this stuff! I did screw up though (forgot to push record, oops) and then when I tried to fix it I annoyed a curler. Oops. Lesson learned! I'm not fired yet, but I still felt bad about that a day later. I guess I'm not quite cut out to be a full time media pro.

Sunday marked the start of the routine. Get up, walk to the arena, watch curling, film, edit, post video, walk to Safeway for lunch, watch curling, film, edit, post video, walk to Safeway for dinner, watch curling, film, edit, post video, find a ride home or walk, sleep. Repeat!

Repping my province!

The Eye(s) on the Ice - Ice Techs rock! Oh, and you can see Taco in a Bag! More about that next post...

Sometimes this is my view, but that's ok too.

These "soft" mascots are walking around, just waiting for you to take your picture with them.

I told you last event what NFG means - anyone remember?

This is a good view too.

The one blip in my routine this week will be making the Influential Coaches videos. I've been asked to put a few together over the week and the first one turned out pretty well. I love this idea - it's great that the ladies are so keen to show their coaches some curling love!