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Fleury, Team Homan feeling 'settled in' as a rink entering women's curling worlds

Tracy Fleury and Rachel Homan Tracy Fleury and Rachel Homan - The Canadian Press

It’s been a learning process, but Tracy Fleury believes she’s found the right answers as part of Rachel Homan’s rink.

Homan's squad is representing Canada at the world women’s curling championships that begin Saturday in Sydney, N.S.

Fleury, one of the country’s top skips, joined Homan’s Ottawa rink in August 2022 after Joanne Courtney decided to step away form the game. She spent her first year with the team as skip and throwing third stones. This season, Homan returned as skip, with Fleury playing third.

Along with second Emma Miskew and lead Sarah Wilkes, the team went 11-0 to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary. That improved their record to an impressive 48-5 on the season.

“I think our first year together was a lot of learning, getting used to each other,” the 37-year-old Fleury told a virtual media availability Wednesday. “We were all adjusting to new roles. We tried not to put too much pressure on ourselves and just kind of get comfortable.

"Now in year two, I think everyone has settled in.”

Both Homan and Fleury shot 89 per cent during the Scotties. The team led all major statistical categories, including scoring 90 points and allowing only 43.

Fleury, of Sudbury, Ont., said it took time for the players to adapt to each other.

“Every team has their different strengths and communication styles,” she said. “There’s definitely a lot of learning every time (you join) a new team.

“I’m lucky with this team. They already had so much experience. I learned a lot from them. I’ve known them for a very long time, competing against them for years. Just already knowing (each other) as people kind of helped for an easier transition.”

Homan laughed when asked what Fleury brought to a team that previously had won three Scotties, the world championship gold in 2017 plus silver and bronze medals in 2014 and 2013.

“Just the best smile,” said Homan.

“She’s got a wealth of experience playing on numerous successful teams over the years. She has such an amazing skill set and always makes the big shots. She has all the tools in her tool kit. She has such a positive and great energy on the ice and that doesn’t change when we go of the ice.”

Fleury appeared in six previous Scotties championships skipping teams from Ontario, Manitoba and Northern Ontario. Her win this year was her first.

At the 2021 Canadian Olympic trials, her Manitoba rink of Selena Njegovan, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCuish lost 6-5 in an extra end to Jennifer Jones in the final.

As a skip, she has six Grand Slam titles. She also represented Northern Ontario at three Canadian junior curling championships.

After competing against her, Homan has enjoyed having Fleury as a teammate.

“It’s been a really fun process and journey to combine forces and do that together for the last two years,” said Homan. “I’m really excited to where we’ve been able to bring the team as a unit.”

Team Canada plays its first game at the world championships Saturday afternoon against Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg and then faces Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont that evening. The Canadians face four-time defending champion Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland Tuesday evening.

The gold-medal game is March 24.

The last Canadian rink to win the women’s world title was Jones in 2018. Fleury said the team is confident heading into the competition.

“We all have strengths that compliment one another and personalities that work well with each other,” she said. “It’s just all really coming together at the right time.”


Homan’s team had few words to say about Tuesday’s announcement that Briane Harris, the lead for Kerri Einarson’s rink, had tested positive for the banned substance Ligandrol which prevented her from competing at the Scotties.

“We were very surprised when we heard that news,” said Miskew. “We feel for Briane and the team. We trust the process of Safe Sport.

“Now we’re just going to focus on the worlds and trying to do the best job we can representing Canada.”

Harris intends to argue that she was unknowingly exposed to the banned substance through bodily contact. She could face a two-year suspension although there is the flexibility to decrease or increase a sanction depending on the facts of the case and the results of tests.

David Murdoch, Curling Canada’s high performance director, said there was nothing to add from Tuesday’s announcement.

“Due process will play out,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 13, 2024.