Skip Corryn Brown of Kamloops

Koreans boosting curling profile

Young Korean rink gaining experience at World Curling Tour events like Prestige Hotels Classic at Vernon Curling Club.

Eun Jung Kim’s South Korean rink caught a flight from a bonspiel in Sweden, arriving in Vernon just in time for the $63,000 Prestige Hotels & Inns Curling Classic Thursday afternoon.

Still weary from travel, Kim, supported by third Kyeong Ae Kim, second Seon Young Kim and lead Young Mi Kim, stumbled through her opening draw against Edmonton’s Chelsea Carey, scraping out a 6-4 win when Carey missed on her final stone.

Somewhat rested by Friday morning, the Korean foursome forced early handshakes with a 10-0 thrashing of Kamloops’ Amanda Russett. They racked up a five-ender in the fifth end, and put the game out of reach with a single steal in six.

They went to 3-0 Friday night, fending off a late charge by Nanaimo’s Kesa Van Osch to earn a 6-5 win. Kim and Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson and Regina veteran skip Michelle Englot were the only remaining undefeated rinks heading into action Saturday.

Using her limited English, the 24-year-old Kim chuckled: “Absolutely perfect,” knowing they were any but in their opening draw.

Patti Wuthrich, a former Canadian champion (back then, she was Patti Vande), has been a coaching consultant with the Koreans for the past two seasons.

“They were fortunate to win last night’s game (against Carey),” said Wuthrich, a native of Gimli, Man. “Today, they went out knowing they had to be a little bit more focussed. They were like robots; they played very well today.”

With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming to Pyeongchang, Korea is looking to boost its curling portfolio. With just one club and two rinks throughout the entire country, they have some serious work ahead of them.

Kim entered the sport eight years ago through a high school curling program. She and her teammates have been touring World Curling Tour events the past three seasons, including a 2012 entry in the Vernon spiel, to get playing time against world-calibre rinks.

“It’s getting bigger,” said Kim, of the Korean curling scene.

Preliminary play for the women’s draw wrapped up Saturday night. Playoffs go today, with the semifinals at noon and championships game at 3 p.m.

In addition to CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) points, the winners pockets $7,500, runners-up collect $5,500 and third- and fourth-place rinks each earn $4,000. Fifth through eighth take come $2,500.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dance stages Indigenous identity quest in Vernon

Tlakentli merges dance and theatre with two artists from Mexico, of Nahua and Mixteco descent

Pumphouse project puts Vernon taps back on Kal

The capital project at the Kal Lake Pump House to make it flood-resistant is near completion

Accident causing traffic delays in Vernon

The accident happened near the intersection of Alexis Park Drive and 42nd Street

Carlton Cards to close its doors in Vernon

All 254 retail stores across North America will close in the next four to six weeks

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Most Read