Reflecting on the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Excerpts from Interview with Nunavut Skip Amie Shackleton

By Stewart Grant

This week, I had the pleasure to speak with Amie Shackleton about her amazing experience at the recent Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canada’s national women’s curling championship).

Here are some excerpts from my conversation with Amie Shackleton:

Amie on the decision to reschedule the family vacation to attend the Scotties:

“I contemplated. I’m like, I don’t want to disrupt everyone. We had set vacation plans and people arranged to get time off of work and I had contemplated not going. I was on the fence and then that was the night I’d heard that Allin Mitchell was probably going to pass away anytime now. So, I connected with Josh and asked Josh to tell Allin that I had this opportunity. Josh mentioned at the funeral that one of his last smiles was when Josh told him that I was going to go to Scotties, so Allin was a big push.”

Amie on the initial meeting with her Nunavut teammates:

“I met them downstairs in the lobby. We hugged and we were like, “Hi, teammates.” It was interesting. Yes, it was fine and everyone was very warm and welcoming. There was no unease at all, it truly felt like we had been old friends for a long time.”

Amie on the difference of arena ice versus curling club ice:

“As someone who throws a lot of rotation and made fun of a lot because of the amount of rotation I throw, I still don’t throw enough rotation to play on arena ice. It was a big adjustment to throw the rock consistently with the same amount of rotation.”

Amie on her team’s play at the Scotties:

“Kudos to the team in the sense that there was no time that I had to make a hero shot; I might have had draws against three or four, but I always had a shot to be made. The girls there, they played really well for probably only playing 10 games prior to being there. They’ve only been on the ice for maybe a month. I thought they did really well.

Our first game against Quebec, I had an open hit against three and I missed it. That’s a five-point swing. We should have won against Quebec and we easily could’ve beat BC, and quite frankly we could have given Ontario a little bit more of a run. I make one extra shot in the fourth end and we’re right in it. We’re closer than the scoreboard ever indicated we were.”

Amie on the question of keeping the current 16-team format (which gives each province and territory representation at the Scotties):

“I truly hope that they would, considering it is a national event. I believe every province and territory needs to have a representative there. I know that maybe some of the more powerful provinces might have a say or might convince them otherwise, but on one of the evenings, we’re leaving our hotel room and Team Canada was right beside us, skip Michelle Englot.

[Michelle] just nicely said, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you guys that you don’t deserve to be here. It’s fantastic that you’re here.’ That truly made the entire team very happy to have someone like Michelle’s approval.

And about our game against team Canada, the scoreboard was ugly: like giving threes and taking one. Man, you guys didn’t see the shots she was making to get her three. She made doubles and picks. She played awesome. The scoreboard was ugly for us on that one, but man, we played a great game. That was our best game by far.”

Amie on the support from back home in St. Marys:

“The support from St. Marys probably put me in tears four or five times a day, every time I open my Facebook. It was incredible. I can’t get over how many people were watching, or just watching Curling to see any highlights. It meant a lot, but not only to me but the entire team was absolutely thrilled with all the support from St. Marys.”

TO LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW: Our entire 25-minute conversation is really worth a listen and is available to anyone on the internet by visiting our website (www.stmarysindy.com) or our Facebook page. Alternatively, the direct link is at https://soundcloud.com/user-952630500.

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