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Lifelong friends Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew live Olympic curling dream together

Lifelong friends Rachel Homan and Emma Miskew live Olympic curling dream together
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Fast forward 23 years and the two women are still the best of friends and teammates and starting on Wednesday — Miskew’s 29th birthday — they’ll compete together in women’s curling at the Olympic Winter Games.

Homan, 28, is the skip of Team Canada, and Miskew is the third. They won the women’s world championship in 2017 along with second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle.

Then they emerged from a tough field to win the Canadian Olympic trials and now find themselves the favourites in a nine-team field that includes 2014 Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead and tough teams from Sweden (Anna Hasselborg) and Switzerland (Silvana Tirinzoni).

They’ll open the tournament Thursday morning (7 p.m. ET on Wednesday in Canada) against the host team from South Korea.

They’ve come a long way from those early days in Ottawa.

“It’s kind of crazy to think back,” Homan said. “I don’t think we ever would have thought, when we met each other at five years old, that we’d be going to the Olympics together.

“As the years went on, we obviously grew to love the sport and played it lots. It’s just kind of crazy to think that we’ve known each other for so long and curled together for so many years now. To finally be able to finally make our dreams come true, and do it together, is just so special.”

Homan and Miskew didn’t start playing together immediately after they met.

In fact, they actually played against each other at the age of 11 in the Little Rock final. The game was held on arena ice during the 2001 Brier and Miskew’s team won a nail-biter with Randy Ferbey’s team practising on the next sheet.

The next year, Miskew’s father called Homan’s dad about forming a team and, as Miskew says: “The rest is history.”

“We’ve grown up together, we’re basically family. Our families are family. It’s been a long, amazing road.”

They won a Canadian junior title together in 2010 and qualified for their first Canadian women’s championship in 2011. By 2013 they were Canadian champions and added three more of those titles, in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Last year they became world champs for the first time.

The only real blip for the Homan team was in 2013 when they were unable to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Olympics — Jennifer Jones skipped Team Canada and won a gold medal — but they’ve even used that a teachable moment.

“I’m so glad actually that we lost because Jen was such a great representative for Canada and they were ready in that moment to be our best representative,” Homan said.

“It really gave us more years to really groom ourselves and groom our team to be exactly where we needed to be to represent Canada the way Canada deserves.”

If they play the way they have over the last year, they’ll likely be making it back-to-back gold medals for Canada at the Olympics.
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