LETHBRIDGE — Heather Nedohin’s curling team may have won a national championship wearing Alberta colours, but three of the four athletes hail from points across the country.
Now that they’re representing Canada at the women’s world championship, Nedohin’s foursome is drawing interest from those regions.
Nedohin learned to curl in Fort St. John, B.C., where her father and other relatives still live, before moving to Alberta for college and university.
Carrot River, Sask., is claiming lead Laine Peters as their own because she grew up there. Beth Iskiw is from Truro, N.S., and represented that province in two national women’s championships before moving west eight years ago. Second Jessica Mair, a high school teacher from Edmonton, is the only player born and raised in Alberta.
In the age of social media, people in places where the other three once lived used to live are reaching out.
“It is truly amazing what Facebook and tweeting and all that, how it unites everybody,” Nedohin said Sunday. “Having the diversity of our team members, it’s fun.”
Canada emerged from the opening weekend of the world championship alone at the top of the standings at 3-0. Nedohin stole a point in the 10th end to get by Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott 6-5 in the evening draw after a 7-5 win over China’s Bingyu Wang.
Switzerland, Germany’s Melanie Robillard, Scotland’s Eve Muirhead, Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfriddson, Linda Klimova of the Czech Republic and South Korea’s Ji-Sun Kim were all 2-1.
China, Denmark’s Lene Nielson and Russia’s Anna Sidorova were all 1-2 ahead of Allison Pottinger of the U.S. and Italy’s Diana Gaspari at 0-3.
Peters not only has roots in Saskatchewan, but also in Nova Scotia where she lived and curled for a decade before moving west again a few years ago. In fact, Iskiw and Peters were Nova Scotia teammates at the 2004 Canadian women’s curling championship. Both received well-wishing e-mails from the province’s Progressive Conservative party, even though neither of them live there.
“I’ve gotten tons of e-mails from Truro and tons of people who were in the club,” Iskiw said. “Even just all over Nova Scotia and people that we knew from Halifax and my brother’s friends, government even. The PC party e-mailed me. That’s been a bit of a surprise.”
The e-mails, texts and phone calls from Carrot River, northeast of Saskatoon, surprised Peters.
“The support from Carrot River has been unbelievable,” she said. “A lot of people I don’t even keep in touch with, but I love it.
“I didn’t expect to stay in Nova Scotia so long. It’s just I had so much curling commitment. Lots of support throughout the whole province of Nova Scotia, all through Saskatchewan, all through Alberta and friends across the country.”
Peters, 41, moved to Calgary in 2009 and works in human resources for an energy company. Dozens of her Calgary co-workers were at Enmax Centre on Sunday wearing green “Go Laine” T-shirts.
Iskiw’s husband Blayne is originally from Edmonton and they relocated there in 2004. Iskiw works as an account managers at a publishing company and they have two young children.
“When you move you make roots in Alberta,” Iskiw said.
“It’s nice to still have your roots in Nova Scotia and people cheering you on.”
Shortly after her introduction into the Alberta curling community, Nedohin met and married David Nedohin, who won four Canadian men’s championships.
and three world titles throwing fourth stones for Randy Ferbey. The couple live in Sherwood Park and have two daughters.
While Nedohin says she’s feeling “great vibes,” she was stunned by the well wishes from her competitors including former national champion Amber Holland of Saskatchewan.
“I’m just loving the previous connections from B.C., but what I’m appreciating is the competitors within the nation,” the skip said. “I can name endless teams from across Canada sending in their support. I take great pride in that. We’re out battling each other all the time, yet they take the time to send us a note.”
The Swiss shot 85 per cent to Canada’s 78, but the host team made enough key shots to scrape out a win.
Nedohin’s draw to the button with her final shot had partial coverage from a guard. Ott then threw too hard, with her shooter just glancing off Canada’s stone and rolling out for the steal.
“I truly think it was Mirjam’s game. The shot was there,” Nedohin said. “I’m surprised she played the amount of weight at that shot.
“By the scoreboard, it was a tight one, but it wasn’t necessarily either one of our teams’ best game. We’ll take it, but it wasn’t pretty.”