Thunder Bay teacher rocks on

  • August 25, 2013

Catholic elementary school teacher Krista McCarville is taking one more crack at competitive curling before giving it up to focus on her career and family.

“It was a very difficult decision,” said the teacher from Holy Family School in Thunder Bay, Ont., who skips one of the province’s top women’s teams. “I’m at the point in my life where I have two little kids and having to leave them constantly is not easy. I just feel like while they are young I need to embrace the time I have with them and hopefully when they’re a little bit older I can get back into curling.

“Honestly I’d like to just focus more on my teaching (too) and become a little more confident.”

While McCarville, who’s been with Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board for eight years, may need an ego boost when she returns full time to the classroom from maternity leave this September, she certainly doesn’t need more confidence on the curling rink. At 30 years old McCarville is already Thunder Bay’s most decorated female curler.

After appearing in three consecutive Canadian Junior Championships at the turn of the millennium McCarville’s game went world class as she represented Canada and Lakehead University at the World University Winter Games in 2003, skipping her team to a silver medal. Two years later McCarville joined with her brother Joe Scharf to represent Northern Ontario at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships. The following year she began her collection of four Ontario Scotties Tournaments of Hearts titles with her squad, Team McCarville, and also competed in the Canadian Curling Associations’ Canadian Women’s Championships.

The 2009-2010 season proved to be the most productive for McCarville and her team as they placed third at the 2010 Olympic trials. McCarville also capped off her Scotties titles that year as her team from the Fort William Curling & Athletic Club became the first ever to go undefeated in the tournament. They would go on to third-place finish at the tournaments national level.

And it’s not just hardware she’s been taking home over the years. Last season McCarville earned about $9,000 from competing on the World Curling Tour.

Despite skipping at world class competitions for nearly a decade, there is still one competition that has evaded her — the Olympics. That’s the motivation for coming back for one more season despite already saying goodbye to her team last April.

“I told my team that I was no longer going to play competitive for a year, two years, however long I decide and then come the beginning of May we were informed that we were in the (Olympic) pretrials,” she said. “I really had my heart set on the focus of teaching and my family. But it is an opportunity that not too many teams get and for our team to have the invite it is tough to say that I can’t go in it because of teaching and family.”

On Nov. 5 McCarville and her team will begin the five-day competition which will send the top two teams to the Olympic trials to be held the first week of December.

Like most athletes, representing her country at the Olympics is a goal.

“Obviously it would definitely be a dream come true,” she said. “It’s not just about me or the team representing our families, it is about representing all of your country. It would be such an amazing experience that it would be hard to say no to possibly having your dream come true.”

Leading up to November, McCarville will spend three to four days a week polishing her skills on the ice.
McCarville said her supporters deserve credit as well.

“When I was debating back and forth whether I was going to curl (this season) every single one of my family members was like you’re crazy, you have to curl. I’d (also) like to thank the Catholic school board for providing the support that they have over the last couple of years and hopefully they’ll provide the support I need this year as well.”

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