Visions of gold dancing in curler’s head

Carleton student Emma Miskew, who curls with Team Homan of the Ottawa Curling Club, heads to Flims, Switzerland, for the World Junior Curling Championships this month.

These days Emma Miskew is dreaming of Switzerland — and taking a gold there when she and her team compete this month at the World Junior Curling Championships.

Miskew, 21, and her team, including first-year political science student Lynn Kreviazuk, swept the Canadian Junior Women’s Curling Championships in January with a spotless 13 and 0 record. And this month, Team Homan of the Ottawa Curling Club, heads to Flims, Switzerland, for the world championships from March 6 to 14.

“We were ready. When we went out to the final this year we weren’t nervous, we weren’t scared. We were just pumped up to finish off what we should have last year,” says Miskew, referring to her team’s failure to make the world’s last year.

“It’s an awesome feeling to win but you learn every time you lose. I’m driven by the competition and wanting to be the best.”

She is confident that experience is on their side and with another year under their brooms, they are stronger for it.

For Miskew — who is her team’s third — balancing her career as a competitive curler with her workload as a third-year student in Carleton’s Industrial Design program has been a challenge. Her team followed an intense training schedule to prepare for the worlds.

“There has been a lot to do. Everyone in Canada is watching us,” Miskew says.

A typical day involves heading to class in the morning and squeezing in an hour of training over lunch before returning to campus for evening classes and finally heading home to complete school work. Despite this grueling schedule, she says she wouldn’t trade going to the world championships for anything.

“I’m so excited for us to just get there and pick up all of our Canada gear and wear the Maple Leaf on our backs. We’re pumped to be Team Canada and represent the country.”

Canada has won eight world junior women’s titles since 1988 but hasn’t taken home the gold since 2003.

The feedback and support from friends and well-wishers in the community has been tremendous, she says.

“I’ve never had so many phone calls and text messages and Facebook messages from people who are so excited for us. They know how hard we’ve been working towards this so it’s really nice to receive all this appreciation.”

While it is her curling achievements that put her in the limelight, Miskew says she is just as passionate about succeeding in her studies and has dedicated herself to making the most of her time at Carleton.

“I work pretty hard and I’m organizing my time in order to do well. I want my work to be good quality.”

As she trains for the world juniors, Miskew says she has another goal. While her team didn’t qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics, she has high hopes for future Games. For now, she says she is determined to make Canada proud in Switzerland.

“My dream is to go to the Olympics and I’m going to keep working for that. There’s no rush. If I don’t get there for 2014, I’ll go for 2018.”

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