#BetweenTheSheets with Kerry Galusha

Talking “Growing Up Koe,” Northern Pride, Justin Beiber & Preview #wwcc2016

Well loyal #TwineTime fans, can you believe we are adding another member to the family today?  When this blog started I never dreamed of the day when I would get to interview curlers I cheer for week in and week out on tour yet here we are welcoming our 7th family member: Northwest Territories Champion skip Kerry Galusha!

This was also a special interview because not only did we do a player profile interview but Kerry was also very generous with her personal time and agreed to do a preview of the upcoming Women’s World Curling Championships.  Who does Kerry think are the teams to beat in Swift Current?  Who will end up on the podium at the end of the week according to her?  And how do her picks differ, if at all, to #TwineTime?  Find out now….as well as a host of other things as we go #BetweenTheSheets with Kerry Galusha:

TwineTime (TT):  Welcome Kerry Galusha.  Thank you for taking time to join the #TwineTime family.  It’s a growing family and I really appreciate you taking the time to sit down and talk.

Kerry Galusha (KG):  Oh it’s awesome, anytime.  No problem.

TT:  Excellent, that is what I like to hear.  Let’s start talking about the season.  We should start by saying “Congratulations” by the way. A 13th Scotties appearance this year, an outstanding feat.  How do you keep competing?

KG:  Ummm, I don’t know. *laughing*  I am pretty sure my family and friends are sick of me saying every year it is time for me to have some time off and just focus on family…maybe do some travelling.  Somehow I end up curling again.  I think last year was the first year in four years where I knew I was going to be curling this year.  I don’t know.  I love it.  I just keep going.  Sometimes I don’t know why but I just keep doing it.

TT:  I’m assuming the passion is still there, the love for the sport.  And of course the competitive edge as well?

KG:  I think so.  I lost it a little bit over the last few years but this year definitely.  The last two years, with my team, I have just had so much fun with them.  I have learned so much.  I probably have had the best years of curling, at least in ladies.  Our new coach this year, John Epping, just kind of brought the passion back for me.  I’ve had some good chats with him and, honestly, I just love it.  There is something about this game that keeps me going.

TT:  That’s excellent and great to hear.  I know the fans love seeing you and they don’t ever get tired of cheering for you.

KG:  I don’t know.  I guess with our family everyone seems to love us.  With Kevin (Koe), he is a champion.  Then Jamie (Koe) and I are kind of the underdogs.  It is a bit of everything when it comes to our family.

TT:  Well I think it’s great you keep going and keep coming back.  Don’t ever leave because I think we all love seeing you.  Now let’s talk about the Scotties.  I am sure it is your favorite topic to talk about so forgive me for being one of many who bring it up in talking with you.  Pre-qualification again this year.  Again making the pre-qualification final.  Maybe, rather than discuss the game itself, what about talking about what it feels like playing in that game versus a Territorial final.  There seems to be a lot on the line for both.  Does one have a different feel than the other?  Do you prepare different?  Are the emotions the same or are they different?

KG:  It’s funny because our team actually treats the relegation final as a provincial or territorial final.  We still have to win here (Northwest Territories).  And we actually had competition here where normally we don’t.  We always have to play off but last year we only had 1 team to play off against.  This year we went to Hay River and actually had 3 ladies teams play against us.  We played 7 games, which is similar to a few other provinces in Canada.  We had a sudden-death final in Hay River.  We were nervous.  It has the same kind of feelings in the relegation final.  I think we were the only team out of the 4 relegation teams that actually go in thinking we are not in the Scotties yet.  I’ve seen and heard other interviews from the other skips from B.C., Yukon and Nunavut.  To them, they were going to the Scotties  To us, we had already been there, we knew we weren’t in the Scotties.  You are totally segregated from everything.  We went into it with the mindset that it was another provincial/territorial final.  It’s just probably better competition we are playing down there.  If we get through to the Scotties main draw, we use those games as practice and to our advantage.  There are nerves there.  It is a really big game and we treat them the same.

TT:  And we can see the emotion in the game as well, watching you play in it the past two years.  It is high pressure and high stakes but a lot of risk and reward.  You wear your emotions on your sleeve it seems, which we (the fans) love.

KG:  I’m not going to lie it is a very tough game.  And now seeing my brother Jamie go through it.  You know  no matter which teams goes through relegation and makes it, I feel like they are already at a disadvantage.  I mean playing Yukon, B.C., Nunavut, you have to get to the relegation final first.  I was emotionally and mentally exhausted after our first game against Yukon.  I was so tired and it was only 1 game.  It is different emotions because you are fighting to get into the Scotties.  It is high stress for sure.

TT:  For sure.  So I guess we don’t have to bother asking how you feel about it going away after next year?

KG:  *laughing*  Yeah.  You know this year was actually the first time I have actually spoken about the pre-qualifying round.  I actually put a big rant on my facebook page when Jamie got through.  I was just really angry.  Me playing in it is one thing.  It didn’t really affect me.  I mean I didn’t really like it but we were dealing with it.  But watching a family member go through it is another thing.  Watching my brother’s team, and I am so close with every member of that team, it was just so hard.  When Nova Scotia (Jamie Murphy) missed that last shot against Jamie, it was just awful.  I think I cried for almost an hour.  I was happy for Jamie but it just felt awful watching Nova Scotia lose that way.  There are good things and bad things about the pre-qualification round and I can see why they did it.  We will see what happens after a year and how they do the format because I really don’t know what they are going to do.

TT:  It will be hopefully one of those things we learn from.  Sometimes change is good and sometimes we have to learn the low’s to get to the high’s.

KG:  Yes, definitely.

TT:  Now you raise another important point about the family and social media.  You were very active tweeting while Jamie was playing in the pre-qualifier.  And Jamie was vice versa doing the same for you.  What was it like growing up in the Koe household?  Big brother Kevin, twin brother Jamie, yourself…were you all competitive right from childhood?

KG:  Kevin was really the first to start.  We lived up north in Inuvik, which is really up north, more than Yellowknife where Jamie and I live now.  My dad was very active in the club.  It was natural ice.  Kevin started curling a bit earlier.  Jamie started curling as well.  Then we moved to Yellowknife and my parents ran the junior program so Kevin and Jamie curled but I didn’t start until grade 6.  I was the last to start.  I was kind of forced into it.  Dad made me curl because he ran the junior program and I had to go after school.  Obviously I ended up loving it but I wasn’t that into it.  I found it a bit boring at first.  My mom and dad have been to nationals in seniors.  Our whole family are very active curlers.  It is kind of neat to have that type of support.

TT:  It is very unique and it is great to see you guys be so vocal about it.  I think the fans really appreciate it and seeing you guys support one another internally but also externally.  The human side of the athlete is always nice.

KG:  Yeah for sure.  I’m not as big of a tweeter as Jamie *laughing* but I was tweeting a lot during the Brier.  There was just a lot to tweet about that week.

TT:  Yes, there definitely was a lot to tweet about that week.  What was it like growing up with two brothers?  Obviously having Jamie as a twin is a totally different dynamic that, unless you are a twin, you probably don’t completely understand.  You are the only girl in the family with an older brother and a twin brother.  How do you withstand that?

KG:  *laughing*  I don’t know.  I think I annoyed Kevin and Jamie a lot growing up actually to be honest.

TT:  *laughing*

KG:  My friends always say that I am very loud.  I always have to speak loud when I am in groups.  I always say I think I had to do that growing up.  I had to speak loud to be heard growing up.  Jamie and I are pretty close.  Kevin and his family come here all the time in the summer and we have great family reunions.  We go visit them as well.  We all keep in touch.  I see and talk to Jamie on a weekly basis for sure.

TT:  That’s great to see.  I cannot imagine how it would be growing up.  I used to beat up on my little brother growing up so I cannot imagine having two older brothers. *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Yeah, it was interesting.

TT:  Now if we talk about #growthesport and I had the power to give you control of the sport for one day and you could make any change or adaptation or do anything to help grow the sport.  What would you do?  What would be the one thing you would want to see done?

KG:  Holy cow, that is a pretty loaded question.

TT:  It is a very loaded question, yes I will admit.

KG:  Hmmm….honestly….

TT:  It is not easy I know.

KG:  No, it isn’t.  I don’t know.  I like where curling is going.  I like the changes that have happened, other than obviously relegation.  *laughing*  But again, I don’t really know how to fix relegation.  Hmm, I don’t know.  I really have to think about that one.

TT:  That’s fair.  Maybe I’d say rather than changing the sport could there be an opportunity to help grow the sport perhaps for a younger generation or help fix how to get more kids to be involved in the sport.  Do you have any thoughts on that?

KG:  You know, everyone knows this but curling is kind of declining in term of competitive teams.  Our junior program here in the north has suffered hugely.  There are no growing teams.  There would be one strong team and always a team underneath them going after them.  Now we really don’t have that.  We have really, really young kids going.  We worked with the Hay River junior team that went to nationals this year.  They were really young.  They didn’t really know a lot so our team tried to work with them when we went to Hay River for a spiel.  I know we always get these letters in the mail from Curling Canada asking for us to donate and help the curlers.  But I also know, for myself, I get kind of mad when I get those because I think who is going to help me succeed in curling.  Jolene Campbell had a rant on her facebook about the same thing.  I think it might be a good idea if Curling Canada takes a look at our clubs and our junior program and maybe develop a junior program to get more people involved.  I know Rocks and Rings got more kids involved a few years ago.  Maybe there is another program that can also get more kids involved.  I know in my club, my 6 year old daughter started curling this year and with her came 3 or 4 other kids and they just love it.  I always joke around and say that I am forming an Olympic team right now with my 6 year old daughter.  I never curled when I was 6 years old.  It would be nice to see junior programs looked at again and how we get more kids curling again for sure.

TT:  Yeah, excellent.  I agree it is definitely an avenue of opportunity for the sport to grow in the future.  Now, speaking of another side of grow the sport, Nunavut participated in the Scotties and Brier for the first time this year, as well as the playing at the junior.  They picked up wins at 3 of the 4 events this year.  That’s got to be good to see for the territories combined with hopefully seeing all 3 compete together at the Scotties or Brier in the future.  Do you guys play off that with one another, with that commradary with wanting to see all 3 territories compete and succeed?

KG:  Yeah for sure.  I mean it is kind of funny because I grew up playing off against the Yukon.  They have always been our rivals  *laughing*  I was never friends with them.  They were always my competitors.  It is different now that we have direct entry.  We definitely cheer for each other.  This year, if we wouldn’t have been in that final against B.C., I would have loved to see Yukon be there.  When the Nunavut ladies beat B.C. we were right there with them at the end cheering them on.  It was just so great to see.  Last year, with no Nunavut teams going, I was a little bit choked with that.  It was totally understandable.  But this year it was really, really, really good to see them at the Scotties and at the Brier.

TT:  We always hear about the Atlantic provinces and how, when they play one another they want always beat one another of course, but when they aren’t, they always want to see each other be successful and win.  Do you guys have the same feel now?

KG:  Definitely, for sure.  No doubt about it.  I would have loved to see us and the Yukon in the Scotties this year.  I’ve known Nicole Baldwin (Skip – Team Yukon) forever.  I used to compete against her.  She was even our fifth player one year at the Scotties.  If we weren’t going to be in it, I would have wanted to see her in it definitely.  The northern teams at the Scotties are basically extinct.  It would have been great to see at least one of us get back in it.


TT:  For sure.  Well hopefully that will be the route we see if not next year at the earliest in 2018 because that is the best route to go and I also think that is what the fans want to see happen.  Now talking about Nunavut, their biggest success could be deemed the victories they have picked up this year.  In looking at your curling resume, what is your favorite curling moment?

KG:  I’ve had a lot of up’s and down’s throughout the years but I would have to say last year winning an actual medal at a national event with my mixed team.  That by far stands out to me.  I have my little medal and my little plaque sitting in my house.  It was a tough event, there were a lot of really good teams.  A lot of the teams there didn’t really know us so we kind of put ourselves under the radar.  To win a silver medal, especially with my brother (Jamie) and I’m really good friends with Megan and Robert (Borden), it was really special and something I’ll always remember no matter what.

TT:  Yup, for sure.  What was the reaction like when you got home?  It was one of the first medals the Northwest Territories has picked up at a national event.

KG:  It was huge.  It was crazy.  My phone didn’t stop ringing for about a week.  It was very surreal.  It was such a crazy week and all we did was curl.  *laughing*  Megan (Cormier) and I were saying we didn’t even have time to go shopping.  Winning and making it to the next stage, because at mixed it is in pools and you advance through the stages.  But when we got home, people were just so happy and excited for us.  It was very cool.

TT:  Yeah I remember when I interviewed Jamie he said the same thing as it being one of his favorite moments of his curling career as well.

KG:  You know we wanted to play mixed again this year and go back for gold but it didn’t work out.  Maybe you will see us back competing again though.  We will see how it works out.

TT:  Of course, that would be awesome.  Now on the flip side, of course, I have to ask what is the one mulligan you would like to redo, whether a shot or game, that keep you up at night?

KG:  Hands down, right now…*laughing*…it was a pre-qualifier game against B.C. in the 5th end when I ended up knocking their rock in and onto our rock totally buried.  I was better off to just not throw that rock that game.  It was just bad luck.  We felt like I threw it decent and it was the worst possible outcome.  B.C. got 3 and had I not had that shot maybe it would have been a completely different outcome.

TT:  Now when you look back on that, and in us talking about junior curlers, what would you say to them if they said a similar shot was bothering them.  How do you get over shots like that?

KG:  Yeah, it was awful.  *laughing*  We just kind of stood there.  I stood on my own for a few minutes.  “Ok, they just got 3…worst possible outcome.”  Then I just walked to the backboards, talked to our coach John and he said to just calm down.  It’s not like you can just get over it instantly, you have to process it.  “Ok, that was just bad luck.  What do we need to focus on next?”  We talk to our coach, we talk as a team and just focus on getting a deuce here and claw our way back into the game and see what happens.  It’s tough.  But if you are going to compete at this level you just need to take shots like that and get over it pretty quick.

TT:  For sure.  That’s great advice.  Now I thought we could do a little rapid fire questions.  I have come up with a few, most I have already asked others so you may already know some of them.  Let’s start with your curling walk-up song…for just you personally, not the team?

KG:  I would say “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons.

TT:  Oh nice, why would you pick that one?

KG:  It’s a good one.  It’s about getting back up.  Life shoots you down and you get back up.  I can relate to that and I think a lot of people can actually.

TT:  I think it is a great choice.  In speaking on the team side of it, if you had to give your team it’s own hashtag, what would be your team hashtag?

KG:  *laughing*  We actually have one.  It’s actually #BelieberBubble.  We fell in love with Justin Bieber this season.

TT:  *laughing*  Well this must be a Koe thing.  I overhead a rumour this year that Kevin also fell in love with Justin this season.  Does this run in the family?

KG:  *laughing*  I didn’t know that.  I’ve never liked Justin Bieber ever…like, ever!  And this year our team has taken a huge liking to him.  And John, our coach, has told us to really focus on us and be in our bubble.  So we get in our bubble and now we have invited Justin Bieber into our bubble.

TT:  *laughing*  Ah, that’s nice.  Is there a favorite song?

KG:  Oh, we like “Sorry” of course.  Megan (Cormier) and I start dancing.  Shona (Barbour) goes bright red and laughs at us.  And Dani (Danielle Derry) just kind of sits there staring at us.  It’s fun.

TT:  Awesome.  Good choice.  Now back to you for a bit.  Do you have a nickname or does the team have a nickname for you?

KG:  My nickname is Double K, which has changed to Double KG since I am not Double K anymore.  My teammates call me “skipper” sometimes too.  But most of my friends call me Double KG.

TT:  Ok, that works.  What about your biggest rival on tour?

KG:  Well, we don’t get out on tour very much.  *laughing*  That question is kind of hard for us.  We don’t really have very many rivals here in the north because we are the only team that really takes the time to fully compete.  Umm….when we used to go on tour a lot it was Kelly Scott.  We played her a lot.  I could never beat her.  I just have this mental block when it comes to beating her for some reason.  I’ve had shots to beat her *laughing* but I don’t make them.  But back in the day it was probably Kelly Scott.

TT:  *laughing* Ok, that’s fair.  I would say teams that become Team Canada might list you as their biggest rival when you play them at the Scotties.  You seem to do really well against Team Canada.

KG:  *laughing*  Yes, we tend to have a pretty good track record against them for sure.

TT:  So maybe you are someone else’s biggest rival and you just don’t know it *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Maybe…

TT:  Now who is the loudest female on tour you have ever played against?

KG:  Oh my gosh…those girls from Korea are insane.  There are 3 teams from Korea and they are loud.  The last few years we have gone to an Edmonton spiel and there have been a couple teams there.  I can’t even hear myself think when they are next to me because they are screaming so loud.  I would definitely say them.

TT:  Well I will be in Swift Current for the Women’s World Championship this weekend and they will be there so I will see what it sounds like.  *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Excellent, they are loud.

TT:  *laughing*  I’ll take notice then for sure.  Now if you were to assemble an All-Star curling team, athletes or non-athletes, who would you want on the team?  And you can choose to put yourself on the team or not.

KG:  Ok well I will definitely put myself on the team.

TT:  *laughing* I would assume so.

KG:  *laughing*  If it was all female curlers, I would say Jolene Campbell, me, Jill Officer and Amanda Gates.  It would be an awesome team.  They are all really good friends of mine so that would be wicked.  And then, non-curlers, definitely Justin Bieber, Ellen…which I bet a lot of people would say…and Rihanna.  I love her.

TT:  Oh nice, I have seen Rihanna in concert twice.  A very good concert.

KG:  Oh nice, there you go.

TT:  Those are both very good choices.  Now I am stealing a question Julie Hastings came up with for Nolan Thiessen.  I loved it so I am going to use it all the time now.  She asked him to go through the team and pick which member would be which dwarf, including yourself.  So there are 4 of you and 7 dwarfs so which one would you be and which one would the rest of your team be?

KG:  *laughing*  I actually read that.  I remember seeing that.  Let’s see.  For me, I would say Sleepy.  I am forever tired.  I am always tired and I am always complaining how tired I am.  I never seem to get enough sleep.  Meaghan could probably be Sleepy as well.  Her and I are roomies and we love to sleep.  We sleep late and we just love to sleep in.  But she could also be Happy.  She is usually on even ground, she is never Grumpy.  Shona definitely would be Doc.  She is Miss Smarty Pants.  She wins every argument on the team and is the smartest girl I know.  If there is something we don’t know, we ask her and she knows.  And Dani would be Dopey.  She is a bit forgetful and our fun loving player.  We have a lot of laughs on her account.  *laughing*  Just things she does…but she is probably Happy too so it could go both ways.

TT:  Nice.  And Dopey of course we mean in a loving, happy way. *laughing*

KG:  *laughing* Yeah, exactly.

TT:  And now for the #AskTheCurler question from Nolan to you.  You may have read it and we lightly talked about it.  He wanted me to ask you, you are in a world mixed final and you have one of your brothers standing in the hack as your skip, which of the brothers do you want as your skip: Jamie or Kevin?

KG:  *laughing*  Oh my god that’s just as bad as asking who I am cheering for when they play against one another at the Brier.  That is an awful question.

TT:  *laughing*  It is an awful question.  So you can blame Nolan for that one.

KG:  *laughing*  Of course Nolan would ask that.  Umm…you know what, I’ll be honest.  Kevin!  He just won the flippin’ Brier.  Of course it will be Kevin.  And then Jamie can be our second.

TT:  Ah nice, there you go.  Way to get out of a tough situation by putting them both on the team.  Nicely done.  Smart answer right there.  *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Exactly.

TT:  That’s also a safe way to answer, I like it.

KG:  It’s perfect!  *laughing*

TT:  Now I turn over the #AskACurler to you.  My next interview is going to be with Chris Plys from the US.  Similar to you and I here, he and I are going to do a little player interview and then preview the men’s world’s.  So what question would you like to me to ask Chris?

KG:  Well, if we are going to go with the Justin Bieber-theme, is he pro-Bieber?  Anti-Bieber?  Does he listen to Bieber before he plays?

TT:  Ah, very nice.  That is actually going to be a very interesting question for him.

KG:  Yeah, I would like to know if Chris Plys listens to Bieber.

TT:  I would like to know too.  He kind of has that harder image to him, he is sponsored by RedBull, he has that whole X-Games look to him.

KG:  See, it will be perfect for him.

TT:  It will be perfect for him.  We will see if he has a little inner-Belieber in him too.

KG:  *laughing*

TT:  Excellent, I love that question.  Ok, now let’s talk about the Women’s World’s coming up this weekend in Swift Current.  It’s an interesting field.  Lots of experience.  I thought we could do a similar take to what Mark Kean and I did for the Brier.  We can talk about our favorites, a few teams that could make a deep run and a few teams that could surprise before we go into our playoff picks.  Does that work for you?

KG:  Sure.

TT:  Excellent.  Ok, let’s start with our Favorites.  As the guest of course you get to go first.  When you look at the slate of teams who is your overall favorite?

KG:  I was actually just checking out the teams online today.  And I really have to go with Canada.  What has it been?  A 7-year gap now?  I just feel like it is their time.  Chelsea Carey played awesome in Grande Prairie.  I didn’t think anyone would beat them the way they were playing.  If they can play the same way in Swift Current, I think they are going to be tough to beat.  There are a lot of good teams there I could pick but I am definitely going with Chelsea Carey for sure.

 

TT:  That’s fair.  I didn’t go with the homer pick that you did *laughing*  Hopefully when I write this she doesn’t read it while I am in Swift Current because I am kind of scared of Chelsea Carey and I think she could take me in a fight.  I’m going to go with Eve Muirhead and Team Scotland.  They haven’t won anything on tour yet this season but Swift Current was also her first World’s back in 2010 and she won a silver medal that year.  I feel like she has this great connection with Swift Current.  In 2010 she hadn’t won anything all year either and then played really well.  There is something about the experience factor, I think this is her 7th World’s appearance.

KG:  Definitely I think she is an awesome curler.  I think she carries her team a little bit, not taking anything away from her team because her team is really good.  I had Muirhead as my second pick.

TT:  Ok, that’s fair.  That’s good.  At least we agree Scotland is a co-favorite then?

KG:  Yeah, definitely.

TT:  On the other side, my co-favorite wasn’t Team Canada again to be honest.  I actually went with Anna Sidorova and Team Russia.  Fresh off her European Championship, also played in Swift Current in 2010, also in her 7th appearance, also the same age as Eve Muirhead both being 25 years old.  They seem to have a great rivalry going on tour over the past few years and I personally just think seeing them play off in the final would be great.  Sidorova has really been playing hard this year.

KG:  Oh wow, look at you go *laughing*

TT:  *laughing*  I know, right?

KG:  I actually didn’t have Russia in my Top 4.

TT:  Really?

KG:  Yeah, I am not going with them.  I don’t really know why.  I think they are a great team and they are the reigning European champs.  But I don’t know.  They are fighters.  They are kind of like the Territories, always fighting.  But I don’t know, I just don’t have them in my Top 4.

TT:  Wow. Ok.  That’s fair.  We can always agree to disagree.  That’s what makes this so much more fun and exciting actually.  Now who are your teams to Watch Out For?  Outside the two favorites, who are the next tier of two teams that probably have a good shot at making a run for the title?

KG:  Umm…you know I think the United States is going to be up there.  I think with Erika Brown taking over the team it makes them stronger.  They may not be looked at going in but I think they are going to finish Top 4 or just outside the playoffs.  But I think they are going to be fighting.  And you know the Swiss girls, they could be considered a favorite but I don’t know if I would put them up there.  Kind of like Russia.  I know they won 3 of the past 4 years so I feel like they need to be in my Top 4 but they aren’t, they are just under.

TT:  Wow.  Well my Watch Out For teams were Team Canada.  I think Canada is still going to be strong and make some noise.  Like you said, Chelsea Carey played outstanding in front of a “home” province crowd and feeding off the crowd should give her 6 to 7 wins alone.

KG:  Definitely.  I agree.

TT:  And my other team to Watch Out For was actually Switzerland.  Binia Feltscher has had a horrible season in compared to her other years but 3 out of the 4 years, 3 different skips have won it.  Whatever is in the chocolate over there, they are doing a great job.

KG:  Yeah, the Swiss are always up there and in it.  They always pull through.  This team I would have them in the Top 4 other years but this year, they really haven’t made much noise.  I cannot see them being in the Top 4.

TT:  Really?  Interesting.  That’s fair.  Now what about the Dark Horse teams.  Teams that maybe are not getting as much media attention or teams people maybe aren’t necessarily talking about but who could, maybe not win the tournament, but could make a playoff run?

KG:  The Korean team (Kim Ji-sun).  They always do ok.  They come out firing every now and then.  Lene Neilson’s team (Team Denmark), they might surprise you.  There are always teams that come out and beat some of the top teams when they are not expected to.  I don’t know though.  Those two teams might finish middle of the pack or fight for that last playoff spot.

TT:  I agree with you.  I also had Lene Nielson’s team in there.  The fact that they have finished 4th at Europeans for 5 years in a row now…I don’t know how she is doing it.  4th has to be considered the worst finish in an event and to do it 5 years in a row.  That is crazy!

KG:  For sure.  They are a good little team.  She, herself, is a great thrower.  You never know.  They could surprise us.

TT:  Exactly.  And I also agree with you and went with the US as a dark horse team.  Erika Brown is probably being overlooked by a few of the other teams and I think it will be a big mistake if teams overlook her.

KG:  I am going to agree.  Many people are not even considering them but, like I said, adding Erika to that team has just made them that much stronger.

TT:  I agree.  And Erika also competed in 2010 in Swift Current.  I think she lost a tiebreaker that year.  And last time she was at World’s was in 2013 and she finished 4th.  So last two World’s appearances, both made playoffs.

KG:  So there ya go *laughing* good pick!

TT:  *laughing*  Yup Erika Brown could be a great upset pick to go far this week.  Plus you have to think she might have some Canadian fans cheering for her, she does live in Ontario after all.

KG:  Exactly, she does.  *laughing*

TT:  *laughing*  So your Top 4 and my Top 4 sound like they are going to be completely different, which is exciting.  Who do you have finishing in 4th place?

KG:  I have Sweden, which we haven’t talked about.

TT:  You are right, we haven’t talked about Sweden.  Interesting.

KG:  I am going to put them up there.  They haven’t done well since the Olympics.  They are a great team.  I think they were a bit burnt out after the Olympics but I think they are going to do well and finish 4th.

TT:  Sweden is a good choice.  I actually don’t have them making the playoffs.  It’s hard to imagine not picking them but I agree with you, they have just had a rough past couple of seasons.  This field could be too rough for them.  My 4th place team…ummm….is the unfavorable result of picking Chelsea Carey to finish in 4th and have Canada not finishing on the podium this year.

KG:  *laughing*  Oh really?  Awful!

TT:  *laughing*  I know.  I’m going to get there and we will see how this works for me.

KG:  Awkward!  *laughing*

TT:  *laughing*  I know.  I just can’t be known to always go with a homer pick though too I suppose.

KG:  Ok, that’s true I suppose.

TT:  So now who do you have as your Bronze Medal winner?

KG:  I have the United States.

TT:  Nice, that is a good pick.  I went with Switzerland and Feltscher.  I expect her to have a good showing as well.

KG:  Interesting.  Ok.

TT:  Who is in your Silver Medal position?

KG:  Scotland!  *laughing*

TT:  Whoa…Really?  *laughing* You know I am going to try and tell Eve Muirhead you picked her to finish with a silver and maybe motivate her to do something different.  I actually picked Russia to finish second.  I think Sidorova, after back-to-back bronze medals, this will be the year she finally makes that final.

KG:  Ok yeah, good pick.  Good pick.

TT:  So then I think I know how you are going to say but who is your Gold Medal winner?

KG:  Team Canada!  I have to go with them.  They are going to end our drought.  They have to.  They are a great team and I think they are going to do it.


TT:  It is kind of amazing to think we have gone 7 years without a gold medal.

KG:  It is.  It is crazy!  I don’t know.  Chelsea Carey.  I don’t know, she has just impressed me.  It actually takes a lot for me to actually like a lot of curling females *laughing*  I have a lot of respect for a lot of curlers but this new team…they just really impressed me at the Scotties.  They are going to for sure end our drought.

TT:  Well I will say I think her and Amy (Nixon) playing together is a good combination.  I think they balance each other out and they feed off one another’s strengths and weaknesses really well.

KG:  Totally and that little Amy Nixon is a good curler.  Laine (Peters) and Jocelyn (Peterman)…that front end just jive.  I saw them a lot in Grande Prairie and those two are always together.  They just jive and work well together.  I have faith in them this year.

TT:  I agree, good point.  Now, to be fair, I actually have all 4 of my teams finishing tied for first after the round robin.

KG:  Oh, ok.

TT:  I think it is going to be very close between the four of them.  I think all 4 of those teams are going to come away with 2 or 3 losses only and it’s going to be a mess to decide where they end up.  It’s anybody’s guess.  I like Chelsea Carey, I just don’t know about the experience factor against some of these more experienced teams, especially when she gets into the playoffs.  The Scotties playoffs were different in a way.  The experience wasn’t necessarily there compared to what she is going to get in Swift Current.

KG:  That’s true.  Fair enough.  She is a rookie world skip.

TT:  *laughing*  Which is weird to think of in a way.

KG:  It is a bit strange to even say.  But you are right.  All these other skips and teams have been to World’s, numerous times.  They have been to the Olympics.  This will be different for Chelsea.  But her team has experience at World’s, all of them except Chelsea.

TT:  Yeah I agree.  I just think it will be the Mike McEwen factor from the Brier, which is why I picked him to finish 4th…which was weird because I am such a huge fan of his and he has been so good over the last couple of years.  But it will be the same thing.  Once you get into the playoffs, those other teams just know how to crank it up a notch.

KG:  Yeah, you are right.  Fair enough.  That is a very good point.

TT:  We will see though, who knows?

KG:  *laughing*  If you look at it that way I guess…..

TT:  *laughing*  See if we look at it my way then we have Scotland winning the whole thing, which was my pick for the gold.

KG:  We will see.  We will see.  We definitely have very different picks.

TT:  We have VERY different picks.  I think Eve Muirhead is due for another World Championship.  It’s weird to think she hasn’t been on the podium the last couple of years.  It’s weird to think the podium for the last two years has been exactly the same with Switzerland, Canada, Russia.

KG:  Oh yeah, that is interesting.  I didn’t realize that.

TT:  See, that is why I try and do the interviews.  *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Well, yeah, Ok.

TT:  Well at least we both seem to agree a change is going to happen this year.

KG:  I agree, definitely.  I will agree to that. *laughing*

TT:  *laughing*  Ok excellent.  Well we will see who comes out on top at the end of the week.

KG:  For sure.  Your picks are usually pretty good aren’t they?

TT:  I do ok I think.  I had a really good Brier.  I entered two Brier pools this year and won both of them.  It was the first time I entered two winning Brier pools.  I can’t complain.  *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Oh wow that is impressive.  And this was a tough Brier to pick out of.

TT:  It was a very tough Brier to pick out of.  I even won both pool after picking Kevin to lose the final…sorry!

KG:  *laughing*  That’s ok.

TT:  *laughing*  I just bought into the Gushue magic the same way I am buying into the Muirhead magic once again this year.  We will see.  I will be sure to let Chelsea know that you 100% have her back.

KG:  *laughing*  Ok, good good!

TT:  And I will also let Eve Muirhead know you 100% do not have her back and hopefully that will work in my favor.  *laughing*

KG:  *laughing*  Yeah, hopefully.

TT:  Well I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me and talk Kerry.  It has been a great talk.  You are just as fun and loving as everyone has told me you would be in meeting me.

KG:  Oh it was not a problem.  It was fun to finally sit down and chat with you as well.  Our whole team reads your blog and it’s great.  It’s great to see someone take the passion like you do and take the time like you do to do this.

TT:  Thank you, I really appreciate that.  And please tell your team I really appreciate them and say hi to all of them as well.

KG:  I will.

TT:  And tell Jamie I say hello once again too.

KG:  I will tell him.

TT:  Excellent.  Well thank you Kerry and enjoy the upcoming Women’s World’s watching.

KG:  Yeah, this makes it a bit more interesting to watch now with our picks saved.  It will be more interesting now.

TT:  Excellent.  We will see how it goes.  I am going head to head with a pretty experienced skip here, it could be tough.

KG:  Yeah, we will see.  *laughing*

TT:  *laughing*  Well we will connect after and see which one of us has to say “I told you so!”


KG:  Deal.  I’ll be tweeting you, don’t worry.

TT:  And I’ll be tweeting you the same.  Don’t worry!  Excellent, thank you Kerry!

KG:  Thanks.

There you have it stoners and rock heads alike.  I hope you enjoyed going #BetweenTheSheets with Kerry Galusha.  Personally, I had a great time chatting with her.  Lots of laughs and some great honest insight from her perspective.  As a fan of the sport, not only do I appreciate athletes taking the time to talk with a blogger like myself but also for their openness and honest candor in conversation.

Now, to quickly recap the #wwcc2016 predictions:

#DoubleKG                                                                     #TwineTime

Gold – Canada (Carey)                                                    Gold – Scotland (Muirhead)

Silver – Scotland (Muirhead)                                           Silver – Russia (Sidorova)

Bronze – USA (Brown)                                                    Bronze – Switzerland (Feltscher)

4th Place – Sweden (Sigfridsson)                                     4th Place – Canada (Carey)

Last time I went toe to toe with a champion skip, I lost out on the final with #Keaner predicting Kevin Koe and his Alberta team to win #Brier2016 while I predicted Brad Gushue to emerge victorious.  From my perspective, hopefully I can turn around this losing streak right now and start beating my guests at their own game.

Do you agree or disagree with either (or both) of Kerry and I’s predictions?  If so, drop us a line in the comment section below or hit us up on twitter.  I am sure I speak for Kerry (as well as myself) in saying the more fans engaging in conversation about the sport, the better the sport can become.

As mentioned above, I will be in Swift Current for the opening weekend of the Women’s World Curling Championships.  Stay tuned on twitter and this blog for some additional coverage, perhaps a few player post-game interviews or pictures or even behind the scenes random information you may not see on TV.  #StayTuned

As always, be glued to TSN for live TV coverage (in Canada).  If you cannot watch the action on TV, check out live linescores on CurlingZone or rock-by-rock coverage for select games on CurlingGeek.  Above all else, enjoy the action on the ice and cheer on your favorites all week.  #TrustIt

Welcome to the #TwineTime family Kerry Galusha!!

James Runge

Spark Sports Analyst

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