By Perry Lefko

It’s taken a long time and years of sacrifice and hard work, but Danielle Inglis is on top of the curling world.

Inglis skips a competitive team out of the Dixie Curling Club that made it to the provincial final last year and is a member of the Canadian team that won the gold medal at the World Mixed Curling Championship in Kelowna, B.C. on Oct. 13-20. She is vice-skip of the team skipped by Michael Anderson and includes second Sean Harrison and lead Lauren Harrison. They have curled together for nine years.

The journey to the top of the World’s began when the quartet won the Ontario Provincial in April 2017. That qualified them for the Canadians, which they won in November 2017. That led to the World Mixed Championship.

“It’s been quite the process in the journey leading up to this,” Inglis said.

The Canadians defeated Spain 6-2 in the final. It was the first tournament victory for Canada. Inglis said the victory is the pinnacle of her 24-year curling career.

“Any world title that gets claimed is pretty special,” she said. “I came away with a silver at the World University Games in 2009. This is the highpoint on the résume, that’s for sure. There’s some other really cool things I’ve done, but this tops it all.”

Unlike the Canadian Men’s and Women’s championships – the Brier and Scotties, respectively – that offer various financial rewards for winning, there are no perks for the Canadian Mixed champions.

“It’s more for pride,” Inglis said. “There aren’t too many firsts left in curling for Canadians, but we’re the first Canadian team to win a World Mixed.”

Inglis, who is Curling Canada’s social media and web content co-ordinator, added the gold medal is the culmination of many hard years of hard work and dedication, as she missed out on occasions with family and friends and took time off work.

“To be able to do something like this is very special,” she said. “I want to say it justifies all the time and work put in over the years.”

She added she’s been trying to spread the message that all competitions are important in her social media job with Curling Canada.

“Even though (the World Mixed) is not something leading to the Olympics and not as prestigious as going to a Brier or a Scotties or men’s or women’s world championship, it still carries weight because of the experience that comes from it.

“Any time you get a chance to play at a world championship there’s that much more pressure on you and you learn that much more. I’ve always found that out as I went through my competitive curling. Every level you got to, whether it’s the Provincials for the first time or Nationals or Worlds, you always learn something more. So (the World Mixed) is not as prestigious or well known, but what I’ve also found out is how supportive the curling community is. People were watching and following along that I didn’t even know, to be honest, so it was really nice and surprising to have people chime in with their messages of support and congratulations.”

She became involved in curling through her parents, Mark and Lori, both of whom are curlers, beginning at the Nobleton Curling Club, which had arena ice that required a Zamboni to clear the surface and was subsequently pebbled to make it curling ice.

“I learned early that ice is not always perfect and how to deal with it,” she said, with a laugh. “I learned how to throw takeout weight quite effectively.”

Inglis now has her sights set on winning the Ontario Provincials, after making it to the final last year with teammates Jessica and Stephanie Corrado and Cassandra de Groote. Lynne Corrado, the mother of Jessica and Stephanie and the Dixie Curling Club general manager, is the team’s coach. Inglis’ team lost to Hollie Duncan’s team from the Toronto Royals. Inglis played as the fifth for the team at the Nationals and curled in three games.

The Provincial qualifying begins December 15.

Photo: Danielle Inglis takes a bite out of the gold medal she won at the World Mixed Curling Championship. Photo courtesy of Danielle Inglis