Rock heads and stoners, fans of the #TwineTime blog, this is a special moment for me. I am thrilled to welcome into the #TwineTime family one of the bright stars of the curling world: Binia Feltscher! The Swiss skip is a two-time world champion (2014, 2016), a European Champion (2014) and an Olympic silver medalist (2006). If you follow along with this blog religiously (and of course you all do right?!) you would know I am a huge fan of Binia Feltscher.
Having met the team last season at the World Championships in Swift Current, my admiration for Feltscher and the entire team only grew. They were friendly to all media and fans, on and off the ice. In fact, during their assigned autograph session they handed out free Swiss chocolates to everyone. What's not to love there, right? I am both honoured and a bit #fanboy excited to welcome Binia Feltscher to the blog and have the opportunity to get to know her a bit better. My fellow #curling friends and fans, let's go #BetweenTheSheets with Binia Feltscher:
TwineTime (TT): Last season was a great success, winning your second World Championship. Going into this season, did you and your team change your preparations? Do you feel extra pressure this season playing as the current World Champion?
Binia Feltscher (BF): No, we do not change our preparation due to the fact we are the World Champions! Unlike other teams, we do not start so early with the ice-sessions. We tend to have a little longer break after the season. That’s a reason why we are not so "on the top“ at the start of the season.
At the moment we do not feel extra pressure as world champions – it’s actually cool to start as World Champion, but it’s always hard, because most of the other teams up their game and tend to play their best against us.
TT: Which was more difficult: your first world championship or last year's world championship win? Why?
BF: I think that the first was more difficult. This was real curling-throwing- - and not this sweeping-championship! But the second was also very special and beautiful, because the new situation and perspectives in the team due to Irene’s illness.
TT: With your success, as well as the recent success of Switzerland women's teams, have you seen a growth in the popularity of curling? If so, how? If not, why not?
BF: Curling is not so big in Switzerland. But, with the success we can make small steps forward with the growth of the sport here.
TT: A big theme for the #TwineTime blog is #growthesport. How do you think we could grow the sport of curling in Switzerland, especially among young women?
BF: I think there should be more big events in arenas, more TV and/ or web steaming, more exposure. With that there will be more money from sponsors. That would make the sport more popular. We are making the right steps with the European Masters Tournament (in the St.Gallen Arena) and many other web steamed events.
TT: Do you consider yourself a role model? Has your popularity or fame increased in Switzerland after winning two world championships?
BF: Maybe a little role model! I think the success of Swiss teams create growth within the sport. You can see what is possible and try it yourself.
TT: Throughout your curling career you have had many memorable shots. Which is your favourite and most memorable?
BF: To be honest, all of our big wins at Championships are my favourite memories. Not necessarily individual shots.
TT: Of course with the good shots comes the bad shots or misses. Do you have a shot you wish you could redo or have a second attempt at? If so, which shot?
BF: That is a simpler question! I think a lot about my misses and really do not think so much about my good shots. One of the big misses was in 2010 at the Worlds. Last end, three up without, and before my last short the opponent was only able to make a maximum three. After my stone she had the chance to make four and win. She made the shot. I will ever forget that. But is was a big experience and I learned a lot from it.
TT: The following are some rapid fire questions. These are questions where the fans would love to hear the first response that comes to your head when you hear the question: Favourite Switzerland chocolate?
BF: Chocolate Easter bunnies
TT: Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it? If not, what would be your nickname?
BF: My Nickname on the team is "most favorite Binia" ;-)
TT: Who is your biggest curling rival?
BF: Alina Pätz – it’s always hard in Switzerland to qualify for a championship and going up against a World Champion is very hard. But, we are good friends!
TT: Who did you look up to growing up? Did you have a curling mentor?
BF: Sure my dad. Then "Scouter“ Reto Seiler (aka Superfox) bring me to Mirjam Ott. And now I have a mentor in Anders Kraupp (currently the Ice-Maker in Flims). We play friendly games together almost every day and we discuss the games in great detail.
TT: Who would you put on your team if you could form a perfect World Mixed Curling team? You can select any player from anywhere in the world.
BF: Lead: myself, Second: Jim Cotter, Third: Jennifer Jones, Skip: Glenn Howard
TT: Of the 7 dwarfs from Snow White and 7 Dwarfs, which one would you be: Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey or Doc?
BF: I am Dopey
TT: Which dwarf would each member of your team be?
BF: Christine is Sleepy, Franziska is Bashful and Irene is Happy
TT: If you could have any company in the world be your team sponsor right now, who would you want? Why?
BF: The Keg! We all love Canada and especially the Keg Steaks.
TT: The #TwineTime blog has a tradition for player interviews where I let the previous interviewee become the interviewer and #AskACurler one question. My last player was John Cullen, lead for B.C.'s Team Joanisse. His question to you is: We know you like mountaineering, which curler do you think would have the best chance of surviving being stranded on a mountain? Now you cannot select yourself or any of your own teammates.
BF: Andrea Schöpp. She can make the impossible possible and is also such a fighter.
TT: My final question is now the opportunity for you to #AskACurler. My next interview will be with fellow two-time World Champion Niklas Edin. If you could ask him one question, what would it be?
BF: My question to Niklas Edin: "Where would you be today and what would you do if you had no sports career?"
TT: Excellent. Thank you Binia!
Again, I cannot thank Binia Feltscher enough for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions and join the #TwineTime family. Team Feltscher (@teamflims on twitter) have also been huge supporters of this blog since the beginning. I cannot thank them enough for their continued support, likes and RT of blog posts.
The entire team has an infectious smile and positive attitude at events, having witnessed this at the 2016 World Championships in Swift Current, SK and the recent Masters grand slam in Okotoks (including smiles, waves and handing out keychains to school kids in attendance mid-match). The high five's, smiles and fun demeanour on the ice is also found off the ice. #TwineTime wishes Binia and the entire team great success this season as they try to defend last year's world championship win and all the best in the future years in their quest for Olympic glory. #HoppSchwiiz
Head over to the #TwineTime blog main page now and show your support for Binia Feltscher, Team Flims and the rest of #TeamWorld in the NEW POLL!! I still want to hear from you on which side of the rivalry theme you are cheering for this season. Have your voice be heard NOW curling fans.