Park to partner Morris in Omaha
A late replacement for the Canadian mixed doubles rink
Kalynn Park will replace Taylor McDonald as John Morris’ mixed doubles partner in Omaha after Team Alison Flaxey – in which McDonald plays second - qualified for the Canada Cup, which clashes with the Curling World Cup second leg.
Park, the 30-year-old from Edmonton, was the alternate for Team Kaitlyn Lawes when they won silver at the 2009 World Junior Curling Championships and it was her skip nine years ago that is Morris’ regular partner.
Park’s regular mixed doubles partner is Charley Thomas, with whom she won gold at the 2015 Winter Games in New Zealand. But she will be teaming up with a familiar face in two-time Olympic champion, Morris and the opportunity to represent her country was not one Park could pass on.
She said: “Anytime you get to wear the Maple Leaf is a special experience. I am so excited to have the opportunity to represent Canada at this World Cup.
“John has been a friend of mine for years and I've always looked up to him. I was incredibly honoured to get this chance and I look forward to learning from him as well.”
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There is just something about getting to wear the maple leaf that is indescribable. @chuck.m.thomas and I are off to our first tournament in a month and I am so excited to get to wear these new digs! #grateful #proudtobecanadian #roadtopyeongchang2018 #curling #teamthomaspark ❤🍁
Canada have been placed in the same group as Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios, Sweden’s Malin Wendel and Fabian Wingfors and Korea’s Hyeri Jang and Chiwon Choi.
There was a Canadian clean sweep at the first leg in Suzhou and the pressure of backing up her compatriots' performances when she crosses the border in two weeks’ time is something Park is relishing.
“It helps fuel the fire and makes me more excited to get out on the ice,” she said. “Pressure is a good thing! I heard [Suzhou] was a ton of fun and a completely different experience - one of which I cannot wait to be a part of.
“It is certainly a different experience playing for your country and competing for money on the line. It makes it that much more competitive which I am looking forward to.”