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Thirteen-year- old curling star brings home gold

Thirteen-year- old Pearl Gillis brought a gold medal home to Inuvik after winning the Under 21
Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Shawinigan, Que., Sunday, Jan. 21.

Samantha McKay/NNSL photo
Pearl Gillis gets ready to take a shot during her curling practice at the Inuvik Curling Club
Thursday, Jan. 25.

She was partnered with Edmonton skip Karsten Sturmay, who plays for the University of Alberta
Junior Varsity Bears curling team.
“It was a really great experience,” Gillis said. “It was really great, it was very exciting, but it was
very fun.”
Gillis also won two other awards at the tournament.
“I won the sportsmanship award, which is where all the other players vote for a player,” Gillis
said. “And I won the fair play award, where the umpires vote for the best lead.”
She said winning was a huge surprise, but really exciting.
“I didn’t think I was going to win, but it was really nice. I won a broom and a painting,” Gillis
Gillis hadn’t won any curling awards before this, and she said her success has inspired her to
continue curling.
“It was just really cool,” Gillis said.

Gillis has been curling for fun for the last three years, but only started curling competitively in
the last two years. She said she first started curling with her older sister.
“I liked curling with her, so I just kept going,” Gillis said. “I like just being out on the ice and
having fun.”
This marks the sixth year of the Under 21 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
According to Nick Saturnino, Gillis’ coach, in 2015, Inuvik’s Ranya Vittrekwa also won gold at
the event, and in 2014, Hilary Charlie of Inuvik brought home the bronze medal.
“An Inuvik player winning gold two out of the six years is quite the accomplishment,” Saturnino
Gillis also participated with her team, Team Bain, in the Junior Nationals in Shawinigan. Also on
Team Bain are Tyanna Bain, Mataya Gillis, and Halli Delory.
“The team went to the competition with expectations to perform their best. We had set personal
goals and team goals that were away from winning and losing,” Saturnino said.
One of Team Bain’s goals was to have the best last stone advantage draw average, which they
achieved out of fourteen other teams.
“We had some close games, but a lot of it comes down to experience. These girls have only been
curling for three years,” Saturnino said. “Overall the event went very well.”