(CCA) - Dreams of representing Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi will remain alive for the four teams that prevail at the Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, beginning Tuesday in Kitchener, Ont.
Twelve men's and twelve women's teams are entered in the Pre-Trials, and two of each gender will advance to the final step of Olympic qualifying: the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in December in Winnipeg.
The format will see the teams in a triple-knockout draw, with four teams of each gender moving to a championship playoff to determine the two Trials qualifiers.
TSN and RDS will provide exclusive coverage on the closing weekend. Note that due to programming conflicts, Sunday's 2pm et/11am pt draw will be shown on CTV2, and streamed live at TSN.ca.
The Capital One Road to the Roar will feature four skips who've won Olympic medals (John Morris won gold in 2010 at Vancouver playing third for Kevin; Brad Gushue won gold in 2006 at Turin, Italy, throwing fourth stones for Russ Howard; Cheryl Bernard won silver in 2010 at Vancouver; and Shannon Kleibrink won bronze in 2006 at Turin).
As well, there are six previous world curling champions: skip Kelly Scott and teammates third Jeanna Schraeder and second Sasha Carter won the world women's title in 2007; Cathy Overton-Clapham, the third for Team Crystal Webster, won the 2008 world championship playing third for Jennifer Jones; Morris won the 2008 world title playing third for Martin; and Steve Bice, a front-end player for Team Greg Balsdon, won the 2007 world title as an alternate for Team Glenn Howard.
It will be the second edition of the Road to the Roar Pre-Trials. The event was staged for the first time in 2009 at Prince George, B.C., and offered four berths for each gender into the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials.