Anne Merklinger understands the mind of an athlete. As a swimmer she competed with the University of South Carolina and Canada's national team, a choice that delayed her curling pursuits for four years. Eventually Anne returned to Ottawa and developed a team that would battle the best in Canada for a decade. Her rink of third Theresa Breen, second Patti McKnight and lead Audrey Frey won four Ontario Provincials, losing a semifinal (1994) and two finals ('98 and '00) at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Anne's career in sport management led to a role as director of Canoe Kayak Canada and then to her current position as CEO of Own the Podium, Canada's Olympic development program. We discuss the difficult losses, Ontario rivalries, the early days of the Womens Tour and the positive influence Olympians can have on Canadians.