Did everyone stay up last night to watch the big event? Wait, the Oscars? Oh, right, guess that was on, too. Big movie stars and all that. We can understand the appeal.
But for now, we want to talk about something else: curling! Because not only are Canadian men and women some of world's best curlers, last night was the Canadian women's championship match. And it was a great one.
Super quick primer!
Okay, for those not super familiar with curling, let's do this! It is played on long, narrow sheets of ice, and is a little like a mixture of bowling, shuffleboard, and pool. (There is a tiny bit of baseball in there, too, because the match lasts for ten "ends", which are a little like innings.) A curling match is played between two four-person teams. Each team is led by a captain called a skip.
And, hey, let's just go to a short video about it for more.
The drama and strategy of curling come from this challenge—getting as many of your own stones as close to the centre of the "house" as possible, while keeping your opponent's stones out of there. Hint: this is not as easy as it looks! And when the best teams play one another, even the smallest mistake can have a big impact.
A matchup for the ages
Now, back to last night! The Tournament of Hearts is the annual Canadian women's curling championship. It features 12 teams—11 of them represented different provinces and territories, while last year's champion played as Team Canada.
This year, Ontario skip Rachel Homan and Manitoba skip Michelle Englot had the two best teams all tournament. Both of them had an amazing storyline going into the final. If Englot won, she would become the oldest winner ever, at age 53. Meanwhile, 27 year-old Homan was looking to become the youngest three-time Canadian champion ever, female or male.
Englot had already beaten Homan's team twice earlier in the tournament (these were Homan's only two losses). But Englot had never won the Canadian championship before. Who would come through as the champ?
Back and forth
Sometimes a match between two heavyweight teams fizzles out and disappoints. But this wasn't the case last night. At all.
The match was full of unbelievable shots, costly mistakes, comebacks, ties, and even an extra end (this is overtime in curling). Also there were lots of shots of Homan's dad jumping around with pride (Awww!).
In the end, Homan and her team of Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle were just that little bit better. You can watch the highlights here.
Now Homan gets to represent Canada at the world championships in Beijing, China this March. Will you be watching? We will!