Saturday, February 16

"It's A Blessing That We Are At Home"

Team Saskatchewan deals with death of skip's father

CBC Saskatchewan | Saturday, February 16, 2008

The leader of Saskatchewan's women's curling team says she'll carry on at the Canadian championships despite the death of her father.

Michelle Englot's father, 74-year-old Joe Englot, died unexpectedly Thursday night after experiencing chest pains earlier in the day.

Englot, 44, is Saskatchwewan's skip at the Tournament of Hearts in Regina.

Back on the ice Friday to participate in the tournament's skills competition, she said it was difficult but she's determined to give it her best.

Englot said the whole week will be emotional, but she'll be playing for her father.

"I know he would want me to play, so I'm here with him in my heart," she said.

Englot said she's glad the tournament is in her home town this year.

"It's a blessing that we are at home, because I feel that I can stay and play," she said.

"All my friends and family are here. I wouldn't have been able to be halfway across the country at this time."

Englot's team members said they'll be right behind her.

"Michelle's a tough egg, just like Joe was," said alternate [Lorie] Kehler.

Kehler said her job is to step in if any teammate can't compete, but this time she sees her role as one of offering support.

"You let her know you care. I mean, we're probably as close to her family as we are to her, so it really affected everybody," she said.

It's important now for the team to get some positive momentum going, she said.

Englot said her team will take a little time to regroup but they'll be ready for their first game Saturday against Quebec at 2:30 p.m. CT.