Times are good for Renee Sonnenberg.
Even if she doesn’t throw another rock, Sonnenberg is assured of a trip to the Vancouver Olympics.
She accepted an invitation to be an assistant coach of Denmark’s women’s Olympic team and has a busy schedule planned in the leadup to Vancouver.
“It’s a sweet little gig I’ve got,” said Sonnenberg. “I’m feeling pretty lucky right now.”
Truth be known, Sonnenberg hadn’t thrown a rock before heading here for the September Shootout at the Saville Centre.
That’s because the ice won’t be in at the Grande Prairie Curling Club until next weekend.
Sonnenberg has already skipped her team into today’s playoff round and was undefeated at 4-0 going into last night’s final round-robin game.
Due to her work coaching young curlers in the Grande Prairie area, Sonnenberg landed her first international coaching assignment in 2007, when she helped Denmark win a bronze medal at the world juniors.
“It was a big deal,” said Sonnenberg. “We kinda came out of nowhere. They kinda weren’t playing real good at the beginning of the week. I did a lot of team dynamics stuff and it worked out really good.”
She had kept in touch with Danish skip Madeline Dupont and got an offer to coach the women’s team in April, while she was at the Players Championship.
“It’s absolutely amazing to me how it all worked out in the end,” said Sonnenberg, who fell just short in her own quest of qualifying her team for the pre-trials event in Prince George. “It’s really exciting.
“We were close to the pre-trials. I was really disappointed when that didn’t work out for us because we’ve worked hard the last couple of years.”
Had she qualified for Prince George, she would have been unable to take on this new role.
“To get this call was a real honour,” said Sonnenberg. “It’s an exciting thing.”
She’ll get a chance to meet the team at the Vernon Twin Anchors Spiel October 1. From there, it’s four days in Grande Prairie and onto Calgary for the Autumn Gold.
During the actual Olympic Trials, Sonnenberg will be in Scotland for the European Championships.
“I would love and be thrilled to be in the pre-trials, but it’s really exciting to know I’m there (in Vancouver),” said Sonnenberg.
“I’m not playing, which will be different, but I’m there and I get to experience the whole situation.
“It works out really good. I’ll be following the Trials on the Internet when I’m over there and that will be really exciting, too.”
Meanwhile, Ted Appelman grabbed the No. 1 seed for today’s playoff round ahead of Randy Ferbey. Both Edmonton teams wrapped up the round robin at 5-0.
“I guess the only way we can get top seed is draw to the button,” said Appelman, who grabbed his first career No. 1 seeding.
“In a playoff round, for sure. Usually, it’s Kevin Martin or Randy Ferbey. Or Howard or Koe or Burtnyk or Stoughton, the list goes on.”
Anybody but Ted?
“Exactly — that’s the way it should be right now,” said Appelman.
“It really doesn’t matter. What happens is who plays the best (today).
“You just play to see who plays the best on the final day. Once you get there, we’ll see what happens.”
Playoff action starts with quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Both men’s and women’s finals go at 3:30 p.m.