Northern Ontario team pulls out of Scotties due to COVID-19 concerns

Team Northern Ontario skip Krista McCarville. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Northern Ontario skip Krista McCarville says her team is declining an invitation to participate in the Canadian women's curling championship due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

McCarville's team from Thunder Bay, Ont., which won last year's Northern Ontario playdown, was nominated to represent its region at the upcoming Scotties championship after the Northern Ontario Curling Association cancelled its 2020 provincial playdowns due to the pandemic.

However, McCarville cited travel restrictions in her community and the impact returning home from the event in Calgary could have on her job and family as reasons not to go in a Twitter post Thursday.

McCarville is a Grade 6 teacher and mother of two.

She said the decision by her team "breaks our hearts.''

"There were tears as we made this decision because we love the Scotties,'' she said. "It's a very special event and it's our lifelong dream to win it.''

The Scotties, scheduled for Feb. 20-28, is one of the major curling events planned to be run in a bubble environment at Calgary's Markin MacPhail Centre. The Canadian men's championship, world men's championship and two Grand Slam of Curling events are also included in the plan.

McCarville said she believes the Calgary bubble will be successful.

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