By Charlie Senack
Westboro’s own Lisa Weagle is back from Beijing, China.
The 2022 Winter Games was the second Olympic run for the local 37-year-old curler. And while no medals were won, the experience was one to remember for a lifetime.
Weagle was a part of team Jennifer Jones, and they ultimately finished 5th in the Women’s Round Robin event. She said just making it to the games is a major accomplishment itself.
“We played really well, we had a few losses, we were really close to the playoffs but didn’t make it,” the Westboro native said. “Unfortunately, that’s the way sport is sometimes. There are a lot of good teams at the Olympics and everyone is bringing their best game. There are only three medals to be won. I feel like we all did what we could to bring forward our best performance.”
Weagle competed at the PyeongChang Games in 2018, where “she led all leads in the round robin by shooting 86 per cent,” according to the Canadian Olympic Committee website.
Weagle felt disappointment after not winning an Olympic medal in 2018 under team Homan, which she served on from 2010 until 2020. But going into the 2022 Games with a new team, she wanted to savour every moment.
“It was interesting to get a redo at an Olympics experience,” Weagle said. “In 2018, we didn’t win a medal and that was really disappointing, so going into this Olympics, my mindset was a little different. Of course we wanted to win a medal, but for me it was also [about] really enjoying the experience and soaking it all in.”
Weagle was able to walk in both the opening and closing ceremonies, moments she will never forget.
“When I was a kid, when I used to watch the Olympics—even before I started curling—I loved watching the opening and closing ceremonies,” she stated. “I thought it would be the coolest thing to walk and represent your country. Now, to have done it twice, it’s just mind-blowing to me.”
The 2022 Winter Games were run differently than most years—like the Tokyo Summer Games—as they were held in the midst of a global health pandemic. But it was an opportunity to bring athletes from across the globe together to unite in sport, despite the distance created by COVID-19.
“Waiting to walk out with all this anticipation, I saw these giant Olympic Rings in front of me, and I started to tear up because I was thinking of the journey it took to get there and all the people that were a part of it,” Weagle recounted. “It was a really emotional experience for me, which I wasn’t really expecting.”
A pandemic Olympics also meant friends and family weren’t allowed in the stands to cheer their loved ones on, and athletes could not leave the secure Olympic Village.
Weagle has visited three times prior, so not seeing the sites wasn’t a huge disappointment for her. She stayed in touch with friends and family over email and phone, and tried to post on social media more to stay connected.
Weagle’s mom, local author Brenda Chapman, said she was cheering her daughter on from here at home and was reeling with pride seeing her Olympic accomplishments unfold.
“Ted and I are extremely proud of Lisa and all that she has accomplished both on and off the ice,” said Chapman. “Not only is Lisa a two-time Olympian and world champion curler, but she also gives back to the community by mentoring young curlers and fundraising for various causes, especially the Sandra Schmirler Foundation. We’ve watched her grow into an amazing, compassionate woman who has worked hard and sacrificed a lot to achieve her dreams.”
Weagle credits her sports career to her family: she was always involved in athletic activities with her sister Julia Weagle, who is a now retired professional curler.
“I always loved sports, and it was something that was always really important in my family,” Weagle said. “My sister and I always needed to have a summer sport and a winter sport at a minimum. We played tee-ball and softball in the summers. My parents signed me up for the Little Rock program at the Granite Curling Club and I just really fell in love with the sport. I loved the team work, learning new skills, the strategy, and just being out on the ice spending Saturday mornings there.”
It was a hobby that was never expected to transform into an Olympic career: Weagle said her younger self could never have imagined what the future held.
While she works as a communications specialist by day, Weagle has been competing professionally in curling for the past 12 years. During that time, she has gone to the Scotties eight times, where she won three medals—one of each colour. Weagle also has 10 grand slam titles under her belt.
“There have been some really great accomplishments which at eight years old you don’t even know these things are out there, ” she said. “Even when I talk about it, I can’t believe that’s my completive resume. It’s just incredible to be a member of great teams and to be able to travel the world and play a sport that I love.”
Weagle won’t rule out an Olympic spot in 2026, but for now, she’s just focusing on enjoying the sport. Winning an Olympic medal used to be a fixation for Weagle, but at this stage of her career, the curler’s main goal is to continue improving and reaching the next level.
“I think that there are lots of ways to get to the Olympics. I don’t know if necessarily being an athlete is going to be the way for me the next time,” she said. “We will see what the next four years have in store for me. I’m going to keep playing mixed doubles for sure and I really enjoy that. If I quit curling today I could look back and feel really satisfied with my career, but there’s still more in me, I think.”