Team GB third Aileen Neilson gave an extended interview to Paul Thomson of the East Kilbride News. She talks about her life before her disability, how she came into wheelchair curling, how she has prepared for Vancouver and her hopes for success.
Scots curlers, who make up the Great Britain team, are generously financed by the government and appear to see publicity as part of their responsibility to the sport. I have recently linked to articles mentioning every member of their team.
Team USA also feature regularly in the press and media, as the USA curling authorities understand that the national team is their best advertisement for increasing participation. Again I have linked to articles on all the team.
Canada has instituted a pre-Paralympics media protocol explicitly discouraging informal press (including me) contact with team members, and insisting that all requests for interviews be cleared with a "media liason officer." Standard procedure. apparently, but just one reason why you'll find so little information about the team on this blog, or read mainstream media stories covering anything other than Jim Armstrong's phoenix-like rise from the ashes of a ruined able-bodied curling career.
Team Canada, also funded by public money, should be doing everything in their power to court publicity, realising that often means not only going out of their way to contact media with stories, but supplying journalists, notoriously lazy, with material.
Instead they issue no press releases, or invitations to watch the team prepare. They don't train in different locales while inviting local curlers to interact with the team, which would attract local TV.
You can call it necessary focus, and claim that gold in Vancouver wipes away all objections, but making a two year campaign solely about winning a gold medal puts everything in just one basket, and we can only hope it's a sturdy one.
To be successful a sport has to make its audience care about the participants. If all Canadians are asked to care about is a gold medal, then it's a disaster getting anything less. But more, once the competition is over, people will stop caring, and that's no way to nuture a sport and provide for the future.