Austrian Curler Schnabel proves her passion for home nation's cause

Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Curler Camilla Schnabel (AUT) is incredibly passionate about competing under the host nation's flag at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, and she has the air miles to prove it.

Schnabel lives in Sweden, a country with a strong tradition in Curling, but she is here in Innsbruck representing Austria, where her mother was born.

And the 17 year old has proven her commitment to her team's cause on countless occasions by flying once a month, for the last year, to train with her teammates on Austrian ice.

"Not everyone would do what she did," Austria's Curling coach Rodger Schnabel, who has both Canadian and German passports, said.

SCHNABEL, however, takes the regular trips to Austria in her stride. Her desire to play the sport she loves is clearly a driving force.

"It's not that far," she said about the flight. "And we'd do things over the internet. I just like Curling."

"Each game is so different. You always get new challenges and the stones are never the same, the ice is never the same and it is a team sport so it takes four players to play one shot," she added.

There is a facility near her home in Sweden that has four sheets of ice for Curling, twice the number of sheets dedicated to the sport in Austria.

But Schnabel said while facilities may be fewer in Austria, the preparation ahead of Innsbruck 2012 has been top-notch.

"I think in Austria, the training is more organised," she said. "You get more help from the coaches."

Schnabel will play in Friday's Mixed Doubles event at Innsbruck Exhibition Centre Curling hall and has, ironically, been paired with Jordan Wahlin of Sweden.

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