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Rachel Homan runner-up at Canada curling championship while 8 months pregnant

Rachel Homan

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 21: Rachel Homan of Canada competes against Great Britian during the Women’s Round Robin Session 11 at Gangneung Curling Centre on February 21, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Rachel Homan, while eight months pregnant, skipped a curling team that took runner-up at the Canadian National Championship on Sunday.

Homan, Canada’s skip at the 2018 Olympics, led a four-woman team in their first full tournament together to the top ranking and a playoffs bye into Sunday night’s final in Calgary.

In that final, Kerri Einarson‘s team edged Homan’s group 9-7 for a repeat title. Homan finished as, statistically, the second-ranked skip behind Einarson at the event known as Scotties.

“Can we talk for a second about skipper over here?” Emma Miskew, a teammate since each was 11 years old, said after the final. “Unbelievable that you curled that well. Think all women should be inspired to do that. It’s just amazing.”

Homan is due with her second child in April.

“My energy levels are really good, just a few body aches that obviously come with being this far along and trying to have balance on the ice, sliding up and down and even walking,” she said last week on CBC’s “That Curling Show.” “But, when I’m curling, it feels really good and not too many changes there. So I’ve been fortunate.”

Homan earned a third consecutive runner-up at nationals. She also competed while pregnant in 2019 before having son Ryatt that June, recalling throwing up between ends.

“It’s a little bit different when there’s like a solid mass that has nowhere to go, so it’s tougher to breathe,” she told TSN last month. “You have no core for sweeping. Eating can be challenging because, as you get further along, there isn’t really room to put maybe the nutrients that you need for a three-hour game. So trying to find when you can eat and all the wonderful side effects of pregnancy that make those challenging as well. I won’t bore you with the details.”

The world championship tournament was canceled for a second consecutive year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It could be rescheduled, possibly in Calgary.

“I hope one day, if I’m eight months pregnant, I can play half as good as Rachel right now,” teammate Sarah Wilkes said in the late stages of nationals.

Homan made her Olympic debut in 2018 and skipped Canada to a sixth-place finish. In 2017, Homan’s group ended a Canadian record nine-year drought between world titles by becoming the first team to go undefeated through a women’s worlds.

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