Joanne Courtney joins TSN broadcast team as an analyst at Scotties

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“It’s such an honour and a privilege to sit in the booth and to help present the sport of curling to Canada.”

Courtney joins a TSN crew that includes play-by-play commentators Vic Rauter and Bryan Mudryk along with analysts Cathy Gauthier and Russ Howard. Courtney is tabbed for Scotties coverage this year and the network will look to have her contribute to additional events next season, a TSN spokesman said in an email.

Courtney announced a year ago that she would be stepping away from competitive curling.

The 33-year-old Edmonton nurse has dabbled in broadcasting at provincial events but she really made her mark on the microphone by joining the CBC for its curling coverage of the Winter Olympics last year.

Courtney had to flip her body clock to call three draws a day remotely off a screen in Toronto, thanks to the 13-hour time difference from Beijing. Once the action was complete, she’d do live hits in the morning.

“I loved it all,” she told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. “It was obviously tough conditions but it was so much fun. That visceral feeling and that adrenalin that you get from watching and just kind of diving into the game with the players, it was the best.”

Courtney’s goal was to smoothly deliver thoughts and analysis while also highlighting intricacies of the game when possible.

“The part that was really fun is just that visceral reaction watching sport,” she said. “And for both teams, seeing who makes the big shots. Stuff that makes the hair on your arms stand up.

“That resonates still from a different vantage point and that’s why I love it so much. I still get to enjoy the game as much as I did when I got to play and still kind of ride that roller-coaster with the athletes.”

The Scotties is essentially back to normal this season at the Sandman Centre. Attendance limits and significant COVID-19 protocols were in place last year in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“I’m looking forward to being in the venue and seeing what the energy is like and being a bit more in the event and feeling more a part of it,” she said. “That was definitely a challenge my last time around but it will be a bit different this time.”

Three-time defending champion Kerri Einarson headlines the 18-team field.

“It’s the marathon that is the Scotties,” Courtney said. “You just dive in and that’s all you think about. You eat, sleep and breathe curling for a couple weeks. It’s going to be great.”

The Scotties winner will represent Canada at the March 18-26 world women’s curling championship in Sandviken, Sweden.

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