Looking back on it, even Kelly Scott will tell you she got into curling by accident. You can argue it was fate, but sometimes a bad break leads to something far bigger than just a few days off school and an annoying cast.

Long before she and her future Kelowna Curling Club teammates Renee Simons, Sasha Carter, and Jeanna Schraeder were topping the hurry-hard world of bonspiels, brooms, and bravado, Scott was a gymnast as a young girl. In a fairly serious accident at a gymnastics competition, she broke her arm and where one sporting path ended, another began.

Much like the rest of her future curling rink, Scott’s family curled for fun. With her arm in a cast, she began going along on weekends with her father and brother to the local rink and a love for the game took root.

Little did these four women know, but on different ends of the country the cornerstones were taking shape independently of one another for one of most impressive curling rinks ever to come out of British Columbia.

After curling with a variety of teams in Winnipeg, Scott found herself on a junior team with Carter that would end up winning the 1995 world junior championship. In Kelowna, Schraeder and Simons played together on various curling teams. Scott knew Schraeder before moving to Kelowna in 1996 and they soon teamed up together. Around 2001, the friendships that had been forged in previous years led to the idea of forming a competitive team.

How unlikely is it to find a world championship team of four world-class curlers with complementary personalities and playing styles all roughly the same age living in the same growing Interior town? To begin with, you could count the number of other female curlers their age in Kelowna on one hand. And BC is by no means a curling backwater, but it lacks the support and depth of competition of the prairie provinces.

Put it this way. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations where all the pieces to an incredibly complex puzzle mesh perfectly. Not unlike scoring an unbelievable eight stones in one end—an elusive eight-ender—which the Scott Rink just happened to pull off in a Calgary bonspiel in 2006. They say a 300 game in bowling is more common and easier to accomplish. They also say pinning your hopes on winning the lottery is foolish.

But the women of the Scott Rink certainly had a right to feel like they’d hit the jackpot together. By curling standards or not, in the 2006-07 season, the Scott Rink rocked the house, pardon the curling pun.

After winning the Canadian championships and finishing third at the worlds the previous year, the Scott Rink approached the 2006-07 season determined to defend their Canadian crown and return to the worlds. At the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, as Team Canada the Scott Rink battled through the round robin and defeated Saskatchewan’s Jan Betker Rink in the final to earn the return trip back to the worlds.

Held in Aomori, Japan, the team left behind all family and friends for over a week in a completely unfamiliar foreign country. They could do nothing but focus on curling and rely on one another. Lesser teams crack under such circumstances, but the mettle of this team proved as solid as the gold medals each team member ended up wearing around their neck.

Supported by spare Michelle Allen and coach Gerry Richard, the team dominated the world’s best rinks finishing 10-1 in the round robin. They met the Angelina Jensen Rink of Denmark in the final and closed out their amazing season with an 8-4 victory becoming the fourth BC rink to win the women’s world curling championship.

Team Members:
Michelle Allen (spare), Sasha Carter (second), Gerry Richard (coach), Jeanna Schraeder (third), Kelly Scott (skip), Renee Simons (lead).

Written and researched by Jason Beck, Curator of the BC Sports Hall of Fame.