With the country’s best curlers set to square off for the chance to don the Maple Leaf at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea, Saskatchewan’s Steven Laycock says he and his teammates will be keeping their focus on their own play at the Canadian Olympic curling trials.
Laycock, whose rink operates out of Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club, said there wasn’t much point looking for flaws to exploit in the likes of defending world and national champion Brad Gushue, or defending 2014 Olympic gold champion Brad Jacobs, both of whom will be taking part in the Tim Horton’s Roar of the Rings in Ottawa.
“It actually, in some ways, almost simplifies your preparation for the games because you know you’re going to be playing someone good, you know you’re going to be playing against teams that don’t have a ton of weaknesses,” he said.
Laycock noted it was also going to be important not to get distracted by the big stage and the possibility of an Olympic berth for the winner.
“The Olympic trials is a really good motivating tool for the training and practice. But once you get here, you don’t want to get ramped up any extra. So it’s really focusing on the next 15 seconds and staying in the moment.”
Laycock said he was proud to have the only Saskatchewan rink in the tournament.
“Hopefully we’ll have a little bit of support from the province behind us and try and have a really good showing.”
The Tim Horton’s Roar of the Rings tournament begins Dec. 2 and runs to Dec. 10.