Canadian Olympic Mixed Doubles Trials Start Today

Another shot at the Olympics for Canadian curlers to qualify for the Olympics underway now.

A chance to make curling history will be on the line when the inaugural Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Curling Trials get underway today in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

The event, scheduled for January 2-7 at Stride Place, will determine Canada's first Olympic mixed doubles curling team, at the event was declared an official Winter Olympic medal sport by the International Olympic Committee in 2015.

Eighteen teams, including numerous Olympic, World and Canadian champions, gather in Portage for the seven-day competition, which will feature six draws daily at Stride Place Thursday through Thursday, with tiebreakers, if necessary, and the opening round of the eight-team playoffs set for Friday.

Team teams are split into two nine-team pools, with seedings based on the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings. The teams will play a single round-robin within their pools, before eight teams (first and second in each pool, and the next four best win-loss records) move into the playoffs.

CLICK HERE to see the full list of teams and the complete event schedule.

Among the entries are seven Olympic gold-medalists, including two teams - Jennifer Jones/Mark Nichols (Winnipeg/St.John's) and Kaitlyn Lawes/John Morris (Winnipeg/Canmore, Alberta) - who've won Olympic titles in four-player curling. The other past Olympic gold winners are Dawn McEwen (playing with husband Mike McEwen), Brad Gushue (playing with Val Sweeting) and Jill Officer (playing with Reid Carruthers).

The winning team, accompanied by national mixed doubles coach Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg, will join Canada's four-player teams (skipped by Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe) at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, scheduled for February 9-25. Mixed doubles curling, featuring eight countries, will get underway the day before the Opening Ceremonies, on February 8, and will conclude with the gold and bronze medal games on February 13.

Canada will enter the inaugural Olympic mixed doubles competition as the top-ranked country in the world in the discipline.

CBC Sports will offer live-streaming overage of every draw at and via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. In addition, broadcast coverage of the final two days of the event, including playoffs and final, will be available on CBC. Also, Radio-Canada will offer live-streaming coverage of the closing weekend.

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