Martin looking to fine-tune his game heading into Vancouver Winter Olympics

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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WINNIPEG - Kevin Martin will have more than winning and losing on his mind during this week's BDO Classic Canadian Open.
The Edmonton skip said he and his team will be concentrating on fine-tuning their game before they represent Canada at next month's Olympic Games in Vancouver.
"I'm not sure the winning part or losing part matters a whole bunch," Martin said Monday in a conference call.
What Martin wants is for himself, third John Morris, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert to curl between 85 and 90 per cent during the Canadian Open, which goes from Jan. 20-24 at the MTS Centre.
"Just more of a confidence-builder kind of thing before we really hit the training super hard for the two weeks prior (to Olympics)," said Martin, 43, who won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics with other teammates. "That's kind of what I'm thinking.
"I don't want to see us peak, it's too soon for that. But to play some good, solid games, that would be perfect."
The 18-team event is the third leg of the men's 2009-'10 Capital One Grand Slam of Curling series and last major international curling event prior to the Olympics.
The field competing for a piece of the $100,000 purse includes three teams heading to Vancouver: Martin, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud and American John Shuster.
The event also features top Canadian rinks such as Ontario's Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh, Edmonton's Randy Ferbey, Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk of Winnipeg, Quebec's Jean-Michel Menard and 2006 Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue from Newfoundland.
Martin doesn't have Ulsrud or Shuster in his pool, but that doesn't concern him.
"It would have been fun, for sure," said Martin, who won world championships in 2008 and '09. "We haven't played Ulsrud this year and I know I sure would have looked forward to that."
However, the rinks could meet up in the playoffs. The semifinals are Saturday night and the final Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBC).
Martin's pool includes Gushue, Middaugh, Menard, Bob Ursel from B.C. and Edmonton's Chris Schille.
"We have a tough pool, so that's good," Martin said. "We'll be able to have some good, tough games, which bodes well for us."
Curling at the Olympics runs Feb. 16-27, but Martin's rink plans to head to Vancouver on Feb. 8 so it can soak up the atmosphere, attend the opening ceremonies Feb. 12 and cheer on other Canadians in some of their events.
Morris, Kennedy and Hebert haven't competed in the Olympics and Martin wants to make sure they enjoy it.
"When you qualify for something as big as the Olympics, I think the first time it's almost like you're in a dream because you can't believe it's true," said Martin, who also competed at the 1992 Olympics when curling was a demonstration sport. "But when you get there and you see it and feel it and you get into that Olympic mode, then you know it's real."
Calgary's Cheryl Bernard will represent Canada in the Olympic women's event.
NOTES - The BDO Classic Canadian Open also includes the Capital One Million Dollar Button contest, where one fan will try to throw a rock and cover the button for $1 million during the fourth-end break of Sunday's final.

Organizations: BDO Classic Canadian Open, Olympic Games, MTS Centre Martin's Capital One CBC

Geographic location: Vancouver, Edmonton, WINNIPEG Canada Norway Ontario Quebec Newfoundland B.C. Calgary

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