Three for Karlee
Pride of Hilden becomes first Canadian to win three world junior curling championship gold medals
KRASNOYARSK, Russia —– For Karlee Burgess, it was every curler’s dream come true.
Thousands of miles from her Hilden home, Burgess made history by becoming the first Canadian to win three world junior women’s championships, having previously won in 2016 and 2018.
Her third win came Saturday when Canada beat Korea 7-5 in the final in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
“It’s just a dream come true for anyone to have an opportunity to do that,” said Burgess. “To end my junior curling on a high is pretty special and just to do it alongside these girls, it’s been a crazy year and I’m really excited.”
But the big win almost never happened as Korea had Canada down 4-1 after four ends. Canada scored two in the fifth and stole a single in the sixth to tie the game 4-4. After the teams exchanged singles in the seventh and eighth, Canada stole a deuce in the ninth to seal the win.
Canada went 7-2 in the round-robin portion of the even, with losses to Japan and Korea. They defeated Russia 9-8 in a semifinal matchup.
The Canadian women’s team, out of Manitoba, consisted of skip Mackenzie Zacharias, Burgess at third, second Emily Zacharias, lead Lauren Lenentine and alternate Rachel Erickson.
Burgess bonded easily with her teammates, from on-ice pep talks to sampling Russian cuisine together, such as beef tongue and borscht. She described her team’s routine as “curl, eat, sleep,” leaving little time for sight-seeing. However, the team did visit a Russian Orthodox church and took a bus tour around Krasnoyarsk.
“They’re going to be my friends for a lifetime,” said Burgess. “All my hard work in this sport has paid off.”
With three world wins to her name, Burgess is just behind Scotland’s Eve Muirhead, who has won four world junior titles. Burgess is tied with Vicki Adams, also from Scotland.
Burgess has a fourth win to her name from the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, when she played on a mixed Canadian team.
The Zacharias team earned the right to represent Canada at the world championship after winning the national title in Langley, B.C., in January.
The Canadian men’s team, skipped by Jacques Gauthier’s rink from Winnipeg, made it a sweep for Canada. winning gold with a 7-2 victory over Switzerland in the final.
“Winning double gold for Canada was pretty special,” said Burgess.
Hilden’s Karlee Burgess helped Team Canada win gold against Korea in the final of the World Junior Curling Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. It was Burgess’s third first-place finish at the competition.
Team Canada members were all smiles after claiming gold at the World Junior Curling Championships. From left, Rachel Erickson, Lauren Lenentine, Emily Zacharias, Karlee Burgess and Mackenzie Zacharias.