With a high performance review underway, Curling Canada hopes the new quartet will deliver results

Canadian hair curler are hoping an ongoing high-performance review will help put the federation on track for success after a disappointing display on the international scene last season.

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One of the top priorities on the organization’s to-do list for the new four years is hiring a high-performance director to succeed Gerry Peckham, who is working as a consultant before retiring.

Managing Director Kathy Henderson said Curling Canada has received “enthusiastic and skilled feedback” from the curling market and high-performance community for the position.

“We have an internal team of experts and someone from Own the Podium is working with us and we hope to have someone announce in January,” said Henderson.

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Peckham, who has been with the organization for more than three decades, has led an excellent program for many years on the international stage but has often performed poorly at major events over the past two quarters.

“We want the same excellence and we want the same medals,” said Henderson. “But we have to work harder for them and it’s going to increase.”

Preliminary findings from the high-performance review yielded a remarkable early-season announcement. 18-team format, the two groups will become permanent at the Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

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Additional announcements are expected once the review is complete.

“It’s been a funny year because there’s been a lot of recovery associated with it and a lot of reflection,” Henderson told The Canadian Press from Toronto. “So we are recovering and we are reflecting now.

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“But I can say that perhaps starting in April you will see some changes and some changes that we will apply to the quartet.”

Details of qualifying and dates for the Olympic and mixed doubles competitions have yet to be announced. The timing of those matches has been the subject of much debate.

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Traditionally, team trials are held about two months from the start of the Olympics. The mixed doubles trials ended about a month before the opening ceremony.

Critics felt the prep time was too short under the current setup. Proponents argue that the schedule allows representation from curlers who are reaching their peak at the right time.

Canada did not make it to the team podium at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, even though John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won gold in their mixed doubles Olympic debut.

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Four years later in Beijing, Canada’s women’s and mixed doubles teams missed the knockout stages. Brad Gushue’s men’s team took third place.

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World Championship results have also sagged in recent seasons.

Canada’s last women’s world title came in 2018 when Jennifer Jones won gold in North Bay, Ont. Canada’s last men’s world title came in 2017 when Gushue won in Edmonton.

Canada’s best record at the World Mixed Doubles Championships is silver medals (in 2017 and ’19).

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The six-event Grand Slam event on ice has restarted from 2022-2023 but the four-year cycle’s First Championship Season calendar has a new look.

The inaugural PointsBet Invitational began in September on a schedule that featured national championships but no longer included the Canada Cup or Continental Cup.

“I think next year you will probably see some changes in the squad,” said Henderson. “We might add another event.”

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This will be the final season with Tim Hortons as main sponsor of the Brier and Canadian Curling Trials.

The restaurant chain sponsored Brier for the first time in 2005 and has been a partner of Curling Canada since 1996.

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