Canada will send players with significant championship experience to the 2021 World Junior Curling Championships in Beijing, it was announced today.
Curling Canada today named nine players who will wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 World Juniors, which will serve as the test event for the 2022 Winter Olympics at the iconic Water Cube in Beijing. The venue will make history as it will have hosted the Summer Olympics aquatic competitions in 2008, and will be the curling venue in 2022.
With the dates of the New Holland Canadian Junior Championships being shifted to later in the season, beginning next year, to allow longer playing seasons for junior-aged players, winners of the Canadian Juniors won’t attend the world championship until the following season. For the 2020-21 transition season, Curling Canada will send a team to the 2021 World Juniors featuring age-eligible players who competed at a high level during the 2019-20 season.
Named to the men’s team were two members of the Newfoundland/Labrador team that won silver at the 2020 New Holland Canadian Juniors in Langley, B.C. — Ryan McNeil Lamswood of Stephenville and Joel Krats of Mount Pearl — as well as three members of the fourth-place Alberta team — Ryan Jacques of Edmonton, Gabriel Dyck of Edmonton and Desmond Young of Banff. The bronze-medal Saskatchewan team won’t be age-eligible next season.
The women’s team will feature three members of Alberta’s silver-medal team from the 2020 New Holland Canadian Juniors — Abby Marks (also a gold-medallist at the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors and a silver-medallist at the 2019 World Juniors) of St. Albert, Catherine Clifford of Chauvin and Jamie Scott of Edmonton. The fourth member of the 2020 Alberta team, Paige Papley, will have aged out before the 2021 World Juniors, but will contribute to the team in a support role.
Also named to the women’s team is Brianna Cullen of Beausejour, Man., who will be attending the University of Alberta in the fall and training with Marks, Clifford and Scott. Cullen was a member of a Manitoba junior team skipped by Serena Gray-Withers that finished second to Mackenzie Zacharias at the Manitoba Junior Championships and led the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour standings.
A fifth member of the Canadian women’s team will be declared at a later date.
Papley, Jacques, McNeill Lamswood and Young are all past recipients of the Curling Canada Foundation For the Love of Curling Scholarship.
This past weekend in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Canada’s Jacques Gauthier (vice-skip Jordan Peters, second Brayden Payette, lead Zack Bilawka, alternate Thomas Dunlop, coach John Lund) and Zacharias (third Karlee Burgess, second Emily Zacharias, lead/vice-skip Lauren Lenentine, alternate Rachel Erickson, coach Sheldon Zacharias) won gold medals at the 2020 World Junior Championships.