Kevin Koe: the story of our Olympic athlete

Kevin Koe, a Repsol employee, will be taking a few days off work this February to live his version of the Canadian dream: representing his country in curling at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang (South Korea).

Kevin’s family instilled the passion for curling in him from a young age. In 1994, when he was a young adult, he and his brother Jaime participated in the Canadian Junior Curling Championships, where they lost the final by just one point. It wasn’t long before he was competing at the highest level. He won his first Grand Slam event in 2004, and six years later, in 2010, he claimed his first world title.

Today, as the captain of the Canadian Olympic team, Kevin Koe has become a household name in his country. He has enjoyed dozens of victories, both in club competitions and on the international scene, and he’s a two-time World champion and three-time Canadian champion.

As captain of the Canadian team for this year’s Olympic Winter Games, Kevin Koe has become a household name in his country. He’s a two-time World champion and three-time Canadian champion.

This opportunity to compete in the Olympics is the cherry on top of Kevin’s amazing career. It’s been an exciting journey. Kevin’s team won the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials (the qualifying championship that determines who will represent Canada at the Olympics) in a close final against the team led by Mike McWen. “It’s hard to put into words….It’s unbelievable,” Kevin said after the game.

Two passions live side by side

In the professional sphere, Kevin works at the Repsol office located in Calgary, Alberta. He started off working in external relations, and now he is a Surface Landman for the Duvernay area. This position puts him in constant communication with farmers and land owners where the Company carries out exploration campaigns and other projects.

His athletic side has sometimes helped him on the job. Curling is a popular sport in many areas of Canada, so it’s a way for him to connect with the land owners. “People often recognize me and it’s easy to start a conversation,” he explains.

Our colleague has a very full schedule during the competition season, but Repsol’s flexibility allows him to balance work and competition. “I’m always connected through email and other means, no matter where I am in the world,” Kevin says. In fact, Repsol is a constant source of support for the athlete: not only does the Company allow him to spend a certain time away from the office so he can compete, it also provides financial sponsorship.

A role model for kids to look up to

Our colleague shares his love for curling with young people at camps in the communities where Repsol operates, like Chauvin and Edson.

Each event sees the participation of about 50 children aged 5-16, who are divided into levels. “We give them some tips to improve their skills. The kids are crazy about it,” Kevin says, reminiscing about the good times with the children and answering their questions.

Kevin shares his love for curling with young people at camps in the communities where Repsol operates

Curling, a sport with a long history

 

Curling is believed to have originated in the Scottish Lowlands in the 16th century. To compete, eight granite stones weighing 44 lb each are slid across a rectangular area of ice that ends in a target. There are two teams, each with four players. One player releases or “delivers” the stone and the others, called sweepers, sweep the ice to direct or correct the stone’s path as it slides across the ice. They must do this without touching the stone at any time.

 

After the stones have been delivered, points are awarded depending on how close the stones are to the center point of the target located at the end of the ice sheet. A game usually consists of eight or ten ends, but if there’s a tie, an extra end is played to determine the winner. Curling is very popular in Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe.

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