Article by: Ryan Keliher
For the first time in Canada Games history, medals will be awarded in mixed doubles curling. The event made its historic debut this week at the Montague Curling Club.
One semi-final saw Team Ontario face Team Quebec while the other had Team Alberta square off against Team British Columbia. At stake, a guaranteed spot on the podium and a shot at the first-ever mixed doubles curling gold medal.
Tori Zemmelink and Kibo Mulima of Team Ontario were the first pair to punch their ticket into the inaugural gold medal match.
After giving up four points in the seventh end, they thwarted Team Quebec’s impressive comeback attempt by scoring two points in the eighth and final end to win the game 8-5. Mulima and Zemmelink felt good about their performance.
“We showed a lot of grit out there - a lot of resilience. We did a good job of staying in the moment, continuing to control what we could, and we got it done,” said Mulima.
“Knowing that we are medaling is kind of cool, so I think just pushing harder that little extra for gold would be good,” said Zimmelink, who said her nerves were “surprisingly good” as Team Quebec cut the lead from 6-1 to 6-5 in the seventh end.
Mulima and Zimmerman will face Team Alberta’s Kaylee Raniseth and Evan Crough in the gold medal game.
The Alberta pair needed an extra end to defeat Team British Columbia 7-6 in a sea-saw semi-final. Rasineth and Crough felt great about guaranteeing themselves a podium finish.
“It’s exciting. We know we’ve secured a medal. Now we are fighting for colour at this point. We surpassed our goal - we just want to go out there, have fun, and get the gold if we can,” said Crough.
“We will be good no matter what happens,” said Raniseth. “We know we are proud of each other, and that’s all that matters.”
No matter the result of the gold medal match, Tori Zemmelink, Kibo Mulina, Evan Crough, and Kaylee Raniseth will leave PEI with the first medals ever awarded in Canada Winter Games Mixed Doubles Curling.
Team BC and Team Quebec will battle for bronze.