Kelly Middaugh continues to build her own legacy

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Photo by Isaak Wong

Usually being the child of two star athletes, especially in the same sport, bears a lot of expectations to replicate what the parents had done in their great careers. Welcome to the life of Kelly Middaugh, a member of Laurier’s women’s curling team. 

Daughter to Wayne and Sherry Middaugh, curling is seen as running in the family at this rate. Wayne is a three-time world champion and the only one to ever do it at three different positions. Sherry Middaugh is a five-time Ontario champion and one-time Saskatchewan champion.

“It’s a very big shadow between both my parents. My dad being a three-time world champion and my mom competing in so many national championships out of multiple provinces and both of them are still amazing curlers. When I practice with them, I try and beat them in one-on-one games all the time — still not very close,” Middaugh said.

“With how well they’ve done and I know they expect the same out of me, so that is a little bit of pressure. I think we all understand it is a different time and I’m a different person so it might not follow the exact same timeline but I think everyone is kind of hoping that I do.” 

It started from the young age of 10 years old, when Kelly was signed up to play in a Sunday youth curling league. Despite her despising it at first, she continued for a span of three to four years in the league. 

“It was more for fun and we would always enter competitive competitions and we’d just lose every game, not even close, and apparently I played well one time and a competitive team asked me to join them and for some reason, the second I did, it just kind of flipped in my head that I’m okay, kind of decent. Then from there it just got more competitive every year. I’ve been doing better in Ontario every year.”

With the same confidence from earlier on still intact, Middaugh has high hopes for what’s to come in the future as she seeks to have a legacy and name of her own.

It turned into a passion from then on and Kelly is as competitive as they come. With her parents also having been, and still being her coaches, she continues to build up her own story. 

“I’m really passionate about this sport. I’ll go out and throw over 100 stones just by myself because I just love doing it,” she said.

“They’ve made me into who I am today, both person-wise and in curling. I wouldn’t have gotten into the sport without them and they were my coaches for the longest time, still are. Any time I have an issue, I go to them.”

Her first year as a Golden Hawk was one for the books, as she enjoyed a level of success uncommon to most. The Golden Hawks took fifth place in the U Sports tournament and made the list of first team All-Canadians to go along with the Rich Newbrough Rookie of the Year Award, which is handed out annually for the most outstanding athletic performance from a male and female rookie. 

“We had a really good season last year. We all meshed really well and ended up competing at U Sports, so that was awesome in my first year. This year, we kind of had a rough week at OUA’s, we kind of just peaked the weekend before and then we didn’t really play as well as we could, which hurt,” Middaugh said.

With the same confidence from earlier on still intact, Middaugh has high hopes for what’s to come in the future as she seeks to have a legacy and name of her own.

“We have some really good curlers coming into the program next year that I’m excited about. So hopefully we could do well next year. I think we can make U-Sports [National Championships] within the next two years, and I know with the girls coming in next year, we’ve already been talking about shooting for U-Sports and shooting for a medal for U-Sports.” 

“I think that’s the ultimate goal for Laurier, is to try and win another U-Sports championship and hopefully compete at the Universiade,” she concluded. 

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