Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The Swedish Curling Association approached Tomas Nordin, a three-time World Champion, to coach their national wheelchair team last May. After meeting with the team, which took silver at the 2009 Worlds, he agreed. Today he shared some of his first impressions of his new sport. Here's what he had to say:
"I had been away from curling, even social curling since 2006 after the Torino Olympics. When I was asked to coach the national wheelchair curling team I agreed because I thought my experience might help the team prepare for the Paralympics.
"When I played with Peter Lindholm we approached the game seriously. We were an organized and well-prepared team. I hope that I can bring the approach that brought me success in regular curling, into the wheelchair game, both in organization and in understanding tactics. This team will have a game plan that suits the players, and we will play our game.
"I think that wheelchair curling shares a great deal with regular curling, and though there will be more misses, hopefully throwing accuracy will improve (to help compensate for the lack of sweeping.) If I thought it was a completely different game I don't think I would have taken the job.
"I have only just begun working with the team, and we have few opportunities for competition. I have been trying to find video to watch. There are not many wheelchair curlers in Sweden, and we don't play 4 on 4, even in our national championships because there are not enough players.
"We played in Denmark and we will be going to Norway and Prague so we will see Canada play a couple of times before Vancouver. Canada are obviously big favourites for gold, but we will go hoping to win, or at least make the podium."
Tomas agreed to another interview later this season, and it will be interesting to see whether or in what way his initial impressions change.