Shannon Kleibrink says representing Team Alberta at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts just feels right in the Foothills.

It's been since 2011 when Kleibrink stepped on to the Canadian championship ice but after last weekend's Alberta Scotties play downs the road to the Scotties was just like any other bonspiel for the Olympic bronze medallist.

With support of her rookie team and some help from the curling community Kleibrink says she was able to overcome some early adversity to get where they are now.

"I actually had a back injury on the Monday before we went," she says. "So we picked up a fifth player Heather Nedohin, she actually played two of the games so I couldn't play the first game. She played and they won, I came back on the second game and we won that and she played the third game to qualify us for the playoffs."

Kleibrink defeated another tough Alberta rink and a team that she saw up close in Okotoks during the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling WFG Masters in the Val Sweeting rink two different times to represent Wildrose Country.

She says there were times she had to ask herself if she still had it in her abilities to make it back in curling spotlight.

"It's really exciting for the three girls on my team though because it's their first Scotties, it's my fifth but not thinking that you're ever getting back kind of makes this one pretty special."

The Scotties run February 18-26 in St. Catherines, Ont but now that she's going, there is a chance for Kleibrink to possibly entertain the idea of qualifying to the Roar of the Rings and compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"That's still a long ways away but we do have a chance now. By winning the Alberta Scotties we accumulated enough points to make the Olympic pre-trials so should we win the Scotties we actually would be directly in the Olympic trials themselves."

The Kleibrink rink consists of Lisa Eyamie, Sarah Wilkes, Alison Thiessen along with Heather Nedohin as their fifth.



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