Continental Cup …

So, the Continental Cup was on this weekend, which is a North America vs The World curling competition featuring regular team play, mixed doubles, and skins play to decide which group gets the Continental Cup. Team North America pulled out a close win, which means that they’ve won it the past six times and I can’t recall Team World ever winning it, but the gap definitely seems to have closed between mostly Canada — with one American team that is usually seen as the weak link — and the teams from places like Switzerland and Japan (who did surprisingly well here).

I didn’t get to watch much of it for various reasons, but I did note a few things.

First, Rachel Homan, after her win at the Roar of the Rings, struggled badly here. Since she is representing Canada at the Olympics, this would be worrying, despite the commentators attempts at damage control by saying that her struggles indicated that she had really taken the month off which they felt would be good for her at the Olympics. That being said, I’m not that worried about it for a couple of reasons. First, Homan has shown that she’s able to deliver under pressure, winning the Scotties, the Worlds, and the Roar of the Rings, so she isn’t likely to simply choke. Second, Homan was struggling going into the Roar, and even through the first few games, and then came back to sweep the remaining games, so we know that she can recover quickly and get on a huge roll. Still, it would be nice if she was playing better heading into the Olympics.

Second, I ended up mostly watching mixed doubles, and I’m not sure about it. The first time I watched it, it seemed to rely a lot on errors, because it was difficult for curlers who were used to regular team play to figure out how to throw without a broom to aim at or without the dedicated sweepers that they were used to. When I watched it this time, it seemed like there were less mistakes, but then it didn’t really seem all that different from the regular team game, except for again being a bit less precise and involving a bit less strategy. But it’s also generally faster, which makes it a game that TV networks and some fans might prefer. Right now I’m not even sure if I want to watch it, so I’m pretty sure I don’t want to see it replace the team game. But since it is a new addition to the Olympics this year, I’ll wait and see how I like it there.

Next up is the National, starting this week.

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