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'One day it'll pay off': Val Sweeting's determined journey to curling glory

Last Updated Mar 6, 2020 at 12:24 pm MDT

Team Manitoba skip, Kerri Einarson, third, Val Sweeting, second, Shannon Birchard and lead, Briane Meilleur pose with the trophy after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, February 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward.

MOOSE JAW (660 NEWS) — Good things come to those who wait.

The old adage could be the title of Val Sweeting’s autobiography if she ever decides to write one.

The curler’s road to finally winning the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is a testament of never giving up, even after a handful of difficult defeats on the sport’s on the biggest stage.

“There were some dark days,” Sweeting recalled of her Canadian championship final losses in 2014 and 2015 as Team Alberta skip. “You wonder how you keep going. You just keep pushing, and you keep working really hard, and you tell yourself one day it’ll pay off.

“I didn’t know how many times I could get back up. It just shows that you have to.”

In 2018, she made the difficult decision of stepping away from skipping duties in Alberta to join Kerri Einarson’s Manitoba rink. That choice is paying off in spades, as the foursome are now Canadian champs, beating Olympian Rachel Homan and her Ontario side 8-7 at the recent Scotties.

“I think we all just really owned our positions,” she said of Team Manitoba. “We learned what we needed to do in each role.

“We learned and kept pushing forward, kept trying to improve all the time. That worked really well.”

The group is now preparing to represent Canada at the upcoming World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C. starting Saturday, March 14.

“I’m so honoured to get that maple leaf,” she said fighting tears after her Scotties win. “We know it’ll be really good competition. Super excited to play at home in Canada. I think we’ve just got to feed off that support. We’ve got some work to do. There are so many good teams there.

“We’ll work really hard to do everything to bring a medal back to Canada.”

Canada last won the tournament in 2018. The foursome enters the competition ranked second in the world, just behind Sweden.