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HomeNewsRachelle Brown of Smithers basking in the glow of World Women's Curling...

Rachelle Brown of Smithers basking in the glow of World Women’s Curling title

From the Smithers Curling Club to the bright lights of the world stage, Rachelle Brown has been one lucky individual.

The 37-year-old was part of Rachel Homan’s Ontario-based rink helping Canada capture its first World Women’s Curling Championship in four years defeating Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 7-5 on Sunday from Sydney Nova Scotia.

Brown served as Homan’s fifth/alternate during the tournament playing a more behind-the-scenes role, a slight departure from her natural position as a lead.

“I was really excited to try it (being a fifth) because I think it really fit my skill set. It was fun to work with the coaches, and we did a lot of analytics; we matched all the rocks that night and sometimes in between games while putting together some rock orders. I got to play in one game, which was great, and it was kind of a new role, experience and I loved every second of it.”

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Photo credit Curling Canada/Michael Burns

Brown also served the same capacity for Homan during the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last month in Calgary, which the team also won defeating Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones.

“That was a great warm up. I went to the slam with them in Red Deer, starting this role in January before going to the Scotties. Each time we went to a tournament I learned something new and brought something new to the team or coaching staff. It was sort of a similar role at the worlds with more games and commitments.”

After the dramatic victory at the worlds, Homan’s team, which consists of Sarah Wilkes (lead), Emma Miskew (second) and Tracy Fleury (third) was rated number one in the World Curling rankings.

Given how global curling has become, Brown stated winning on the world stage is a little extra-special.

“This is kind of one of those things that you hope is going to happen for you but you are not quite sure because the worlds is so tough and there is so many good teams and you know everyone is going to come out and want to be Canada.”

“Winning a world championship is pretty special. I know a lot of people can’t say that. I am kind of still in shock to tell you the honest truth – it ranks as one of my top moments and winning the Scotties is up there too as it was a dream of mine since I was very young.”

After picking up the sport at age 11, Brown carved out a decorated playing career that has now spanned 26 years.

Before this year, Brown won the 2019 Scotties Tournaments of Hearts representing Alberta, also held in Sydney.

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The team was comprised of Wilkes, Dana Ferguson, and skip Chelsey Carey.

Photo credit Curling Canada/Michael Burns

Brown won back–to–back silver medals with Val Sweeting’s Alberta rink at the Scotties in 2014 (Montreal) and 2015 (Moose Jaw) and a bronze in 2021 with Laura Walker – a tournament played with no fans in Calgary.

The Smithers product noted it was pretty surreal to go back to Sydney after winning a national championship in the Nova Scotia city five years earlier.

“To get a chance to go back there again and play in front of many of those same fans that came out and said ‘I have a picture of you from five years ago, let’s take another one’ and to meet them and see them all over again was amazing.”

“It was such a special week. Sydney came out in full support and to be the home team in Canada was mind-blowing. We felt all the support and all of Canada behind us – it was wonderful to play in front of.”

Brown grew up idolizing Kelly Law and Kelly Scott.

Law’s career highlights included winning the 2000 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Prince George, as well as the Canadian Olympic Trials the following year in Regina (2001).

Law came home with a bronze medal after competing at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Scott, however, won back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007 and a world title.

“I adored them. I just thought they were the best thing ever. Honestly, a lot of the local curlers that we curled against were pretty good too. I had a lot of friends in the women’s league when we were in high school and that helped us get a lot better against some good curlers in Smithers. Then I moved out to Edmonton and got to play for the varsity team, which was a fun extension from my time in Smithers.”

As for her future, the 37-year-old is still basking in the glory of the world championship and has not given a lot of thought to next season just yet.

“I am very happy with where I am at. I really enjoyed my role this year and kind of relishing the world championship right now. I am not really thinking ahead. I am enjoying some time this summer with my family and hopefully going back to Smithers a couple of times and heading back to northern BC.”

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