Scoffin called up by Team Canada

A Yukon curler will be competing in the first winter sports staged by the Youth Olympic Games this January. Thomas Scoffin will be part of the Canadian Curling Association team attending the event in Innsbruck, Austria.

A Yukon curler will be competing in the first winter sports staged by the Youth Olympic Games this January.

Thomas Scoffin will be part of the Canadian Curling Association team attending the event in Innsbruck, Austria.

“I was just speechless; I was so happy, I didn’t know what to say,” said Scoffin. “This weekend was just unbelievable. We packed so much into it, learned so much and met a lot of people. We got all this support from all these high-end athletes – it was pretty unbelievable.”

Not only will Scoffin be without either of his two regular rinks, getting teamed up with other curlers from throughout Canada, he will be on a mixed team.

“The International Olympic Committee chose to make this particular event a mixed event,” said Wade Scoffin, coach, father and president of the Yukon Curling Association. “From each of the 16 qualifying countries there will be two girls and two boys with a coach.”

Also on the team is BC’s Corryn Brown, the girls’ gold medal skip at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. At just 15, Brown was also the runner-up at the BC junior championships, a 20-and-under tournament, last season.

Throwing lead for the team is Emily Gray of PEI, who two years ago was her province’s under-15 champion.

“We don’t know her as well, being from the other side of the country, but she’s a tremendous lead,” said Wade. “She’s a terrific sweeper and has a really positive attitude.”

The other male on the team is Derek Oryniak of Manitoba, who crossed paths with Scoffin at the Canada Games in Halifax six weeks ago. In the match, which was the opener for both teams, Scoffin took a 6-3 win, his team’s only win of the Games, before finishing in 12th. Oryniak and his Manitoba team, for which he threw second, went on to take the bronze.

“We didn’t know each other very well – but it was cool to meet everybody,” said Scoffin. “Now we’re best friends, so it’s pretty cool.”

Though newly formed, the rink is off to a good start. Scoffin and his teammates – Team Canada, in other words – played a six-end exhibition match in Regina at the world championships against the Canada Games girls’ team from Saskatchewan, winning 6-1. (Canada’s Jeff Stoughton won the gold at the world championships on Sunday.)

“We gelled right away, the selection was just perfect,” said Scoffin. “The four of us came together right away and it was just unreal to be there.”

Scoffin’s inclusion on Team Canada is just the latest on a long list of accomplishments.

The 16-year-old has competed in every Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships since 2007, coming back with a 5-7 record – his rink’s best record at the nationals – in 2010. In fact he is the youngest male curler to skip for a team at the junior nationals, captaining a team at just 12.

He has also curled at two Canada Games and three Arctic Winter Games, winning two silvers and a gold at the Arctic Games.

If that’s not enough, the selection process also took into account Scoffin’s other interests outside of curling, the fact that he’s on the honour role at Porter Creek Secondary School, letters of reference and even an essay he wrote on encouraging Canadian youth to participate in sport

“That was way back in November,” said Scoffin. “I had quite a few ideas – I don’t have them off the top of my head – and I thought they were good suggestions.”

At the time being, positions have not been firmed up, but it is looking like Scoffin will be Team Canada’s skip in Innsbruck.

“Right now, that’s the plan, but as with any sport or any team, they may choose to change things up,” said Wade. “With this last weekend, through preparing and practicing, that’s the position they are aiming Thomas to be in.”

“I just want to thank everyone for their support. So many people have helped me get here – they know who they are, I guess. I can’t do this on my own,” said Scoffin, not forgetting his two regular rinks. “I owe so much to those guys, they helped me a lot. I learned so much with them.”

Last summer Pelly Crossing’s Danielle Marcotte took part in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore as Canada’s only pistol shooter. Marcotte, who won two of Yukon’s three gold medals at the Canada Games in Halifax, finished in fourth.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read