Koe rink focused on Worlds

Times-Herald Staff
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Life has been quite hectic for Pat Simmons lately.

Pat Simmons releases a stone during Super League curling action in October.

It has only been three weeks since he and the Kevin Koe rink won the Tim Hortons Brier title, but the team has been busy ever since.

The rink is currently in Beijing, China at the 2014 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship. They will open the tournament against Denmark on Saturday.

“It's a bit of a culture shock for us,” Koe said in a recent interview to the Canadian Press. “Big difference from what we're used to.”

Koe had a strong performance at the Brier and currently sits third on the money list and fourth in the order of merit standings behind only Olympic champ Brad Jacobs and Jeff Stoughton.

The team was recently rocked with news that Koe is breaking away from this team of Carter Rycroft, Simmons and Nolan Thiessen and making a new team with Brent Laing (second for Glenn Howard) as well as Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert from Kevin Martin’s team.

The plans for Simmons and Thiessen are unclear, as Rycroft has already said he wants to retire or take a year off, as his wife is pregnant.

Koe would not comment to the Canadian Press on the changes, rather wanted to focus on this tournament.

Koe won gold in his only previous appearance at the world championship, but Simmons was not part of that team.

“We don't get too excited or too worked up as a team,” Koe said to CP.  “We're pretty calm. Obviously the experience of being to one (world championship) will help for sure, especially when you're coming to a foreign country where everything is different.”

Canada will be a favourite at this event, along with Scotland, Sweden, Norway and China. The 12-team field is rounded out by the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.

“We know most of these teams and they're all pretty good,” Koe said. “Not too many easy games out there.”

Organizations: Canadian Press

Geographic location: China, Denmark, Beijing Canada Scotland Sweden Norway Czech Republic Germany Japan Russia Switzerland United States

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