Team Canada begin their defense of their 2009 Worlds title in Prague 9.30AM local time Tuesday February 22 against China, one of the two teams that a gained a spot through the Qualifying tournament in Finland last November.
With not much activity this season to guage how Canada might fare, I asked the CCA's Program Director, Gerry Peckham, for his assessment. That the team would do its best and hope for a place on the podium was a given.
Here's what he had to say:
This is a new quadrennial but 2014 is not that far away and this will be our first real opportunity to compare our current performance levels against the old and new line ups from other countries.
We'll be analyzing current and potential levels of play among the other countries; in particular those that have challenged for the podium in the past along with those we expect to challenge going forward. We're oredominately interested in execution percentages and score board management.
We'll also be establishing what the current performance standards are internationally as they relate to draw execution, take out execution, strategy, managing playing conditions and ice reading skills. Are there any new techniques or approaches being employed?
We're hopeful Team Canada can maintain their form and achieve new performance benchmarks individually and collectively. This will, however, be influenced by ice conditions.
This Championship will be a very challenging time for Jim considering his personal circumstances. Hopefully this will provide him with the opportunity to focus on the task at hand, which is also his passion. He will be well supported by team mates and coaches.
You can follow the Championship at our special Worlds section on wheelchaircurling.com, with the schedule, scores, tables and regular reports.
The schedule is available for download HERE. The sheets do have webcams, though we'll have to see whether they are operating. Line scores are promised HERE.