Petersson ready to give Canada “a harder time”
Q&A with Norway's experienced lead Haavard Vad Petersson
Haavard Vad Petersson, lead for Norway’s Team Thomas Ulsrud, says knowing the words to “O Canada” off by heart will motivate the former world champions to end the maple leaf domination in Omaha.
Canada are, of course, the world’s most powerful curling nation and took home women’s, men’s and mixed doubles gold medals from the Curling World Cup opening leg in Suzhou in September.
But Petersson has promised to give Canada “a harder time” in the second leg in December to avoid hearing those familiar strains of the Canadian national anthem yet again.
In Omaha, Team Ulsrud, the 2014 world champions and twice European gold medallists, will aim to go one better than compatriots Team Steffen Walstad managed in the Curling World Cup first leg in Suzhou, where they lost 6-5 in the final to Canada’s Team Kevin Koe.
Team Ulsrud have at least avoided Canada’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson in the group-stage draw, but must still contend with world champions Niklas Edin, as well as Scotland and China, whose rinks are yet to be confirmed.
We caught up with Haavard to ask about his expectations as his team prepare to make their Curling World Cup debut in Nebraska.
Hi Haavard. How would you sum up your start to the season so far?
Some good shots. Some bad shots! It was a nice to win the Baden Masters at the start of the season.
What has Team Steffan Walstad told you about what to expect from the Curling World Cup?
This is not our first barbeque! You don't ask your kids for advice on how to grill your steak.
What are your expectations of Omaha? Have you been before and what are you particularly looking forward to?
It will be our first time in Nebraska! We're hoping for great food, perfect ice conditions and lots of cheering fans.
The reduced thinking time was a big talking point in Suzhou - what are your expectations of the unique Curling World Cup timing rules? Have you incorporated it into your training?
We're used to having to play quick. Now we have to be effective at every end as we can't bank time throughout the match.
What added elements do you think the Curling World Cup has brought to the world curling calendar?
For there to be more curling on TV and to stage events in arenas instead of clubs.
You have had the same line-up for a number of years. Do you think this has helped you on the tour?
There have not been many options in Norway. If we had tonnes of talent in our small country, we would all have been traded several times, so instead we’ve stuck together.
What are the positives and negatives about travelling the world as a competitive curler?
It's fun and we love the sport of curling, but it does mean time away from family and work.
Who are your main friends on tour?
We love everybody!
And finally, what was it like to see one country win all three events in the Curling World Cup first leg in Suzhou? Does that motivate you to knock Canada off their perch?
Most curlers know "O Canada" by heart. We're kind of used to it, but they'll have a harder time this time!