'So surreal': Manitoba junior curlers talk about taking home gold from Russia
WINNIPEG -- Fresh off their gold medal win at the 2020 World Junior Curling Championships, two Manitoba curlers are reflecting on their experience in Russia.
“So surreal,” said second Emily Zacharias, one of the curlers who represented Canada at the World Juniors.
“The support that we got when we landed off the plane was absolutely amazing. Everybody’s been super supportive and it’s great to be back and celebrate this with everyone.”
This past weekend, Canada’s junior men’s and women’s teams -- both of which are from Manitoba -- took home gold at the tournament.
Karlee Burgess, the third on the women’s team, said it was a familiar experience, since the team played in front of television cameras at the Canadian Juniors.
“We knew we just had to make our last couple shots and finish the game off,” she said.
“We started a little flat as a team but we got a couple breaks later in the game so it was kind of nice to finish that last send-off.”
Zacharias said the Canadian men’s and women’s junior teams -- Team Gauthier and Team Zacharias respectively -- are good friends with one another, and it was “really cool” that they got to go to the championship together.
“We spent a lot of evenings playing cards and talking with them so that was really cool and getting to see them win before our final was a really cool experience for us. It gave us some motivation try to push through and win the final as well,” she said.
For Burgess, being a curler runs in her family. In fact, her father represented Canada at the World Juniors in 1988.
“I’ve kind of followed my dad’s footsteps and it’s been in my family’s blood,” she said.
Zacharias noted its an honour to represent Manitoba, because of the legacy the province holds in curling.
“I hope to continue to represent Manitoba and have more national stage appearances,” she said.
Next the team is off to the Champions Cup -- The Grand Slam of Curling in Alberta at the end of April.
- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube and Rahim Ladhani.