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National development curling coach Paul Webster has racked up four Olympic gold medals, proving our country rocks at curling. Coaching since he was 16, the Peterborough, Ontario, native and 2018 Olympic Team Canada leader is already working to bring both the men’s and women’s teams to the podium. We caught up with him at his home rink in Calgary before he flew to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, for the Canadian Open Grand Slam of Curling.

Paul Webster

Fold, roll, scrunch or stuff?
I started rolling after I read your magazine and saw that all the methodical packers do it. But if left to my natural habits, I just throw everything in and stuff my bag as full as I can.

Why do Canadians excel at curling?
Curling is ingrained in our culture. We’re one of the only countries that’s still club based, meaning that any club can put together a team, and if they’re better than all the others, they get to compete as Team Canada. It fuels the dream for a lot of our young athletes; they are all out there battling to get to the top.

Any new competition on the horizon?
We’re keeping our eye on South Korea. They’re throwing a lot of money into curling because they’re hosting the 2018 Games. You’ll see their team playing events here throughout the season, trying to get better. We welcome them with open arms.

Any tips for staying warm during Canadian winters?
Our mothers tell us from day one: Layer up. We sit up to three hours per game, so you need options. The best item I’ve added recently is a down parka from Under Armour that rolls up smaller than I ever would have thought possible and fits in my backpack.

How do you celebrate after a victory?
I’d love to say we go for a warm drink, but when we won the world championships in Switzerland last March, there was a lot of cold Swiss beer consumed. It’s the victory itself that keeps us warm.



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