'Once in a lifetime opportunity': Team Dunstone preparing for Olympic curling trials in front of hometown crowd
Team Dunstone is hoping a hometown advantage will help edge them to victory at this weekend’s Olympic curling trials at the SaskTel Centre.
Canada’s best teams will be in Saskatoon to compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Team Dunstone, the only team representing Saskatchewan in the trials, is made up of skip Matt Dunstone, third Braeden Moskowy, second Kirk Muyres and lead Dustin Kidby.
“We haven’t been able to play in front of our fans for a little while now and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do so,” Dunstone said. “We’re excited to be able to share this experience with [the fans] and we’re hoping it’s going to be very jammed in there and very loud.”
For Muyres, playing at the SaskTel Centre has been a long-time goal.
“It’s a childhood dream to play in SaskTel Centre. It’s going to be the first time for me. I grew up watching Briers there, so to get to go play an event there is going to be unlike anything else,” Muyres said. “All of us kind of thrive on excitement and pressure, so to have 7,000 or 8,000 people watching us on any given day is going to be super exciting.”
As the excitement builds, the team is spending the days leading up to the event on the ice.
“We took about a week off and got away from the rink, away from the game and rested up the bodies and all of that fun stuff. Now we’re into training camp,” Moskowy said. “We’re now just working out the kinks and getting ready for Saskatoon.”
The team is also coping with the mental pressure of what this weekend means for them.
“This is kind of the reason why we put this team together and this is what everyone works for over the four years – to be Team Canada at the Olympics,” Moskowy said. “There’s no denying it’s a big week. It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be nerve-wracking but this is what this team likes. We like to show up when the lights are the brightest.”
Dunstone said the team is prepared for whatever the outcome might be.
“It’s the best of the best playing for the pinnacle of the sport. That’s about as good as it gets,” Dunstone said. “We know we can play some of our best curling and still not win. It’s just that good of a field that you can go out there and curl 90-95 per cent and it still might not be good enough. We’ve learned to live with that and we’re at peace with that.”
He added if they bring their best game, they have as good of a chance to win as anybody.
All members of the team say representing Canada at the Olympics would be a dream come true.
“Realistically, I don’t know if anyone truly knows what it means until you get to do it,” Muyres said. “Growing up to think that you’re going to represent Canada at the Olympics just doesn’t seem real. Next week we get a chance to give it a try.”
Team Dunstone’s first draw is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. against Manitoba’s Team McEwen.