Team Fortius skip Sayaka Yoshimura (Photo: Anil Mungal/GSOC) is currently 1-1 at the Hokkaido Bank Classic in Sapporo.
After just missing out on Beijing Olympic in February, having lost the final to Satsuki Fujisawa, it took some time for the 31-year old native of Hokkaido province get motivated again.
"I couldn't switch immediately, and I felt like a wreck for about a week after finishing."
Yoshimura has re-grouped over the summer and is now focused on the 2026 Winter Olympic in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
After taking a complete break in June, the team was back on the ice at the beginning of July.
"The first match will be the Dogin Classic (opening on August 4), and from there, I would like to participate in the Hokkaido tour of four tournaments (including the Dogin Classic).
"I want to aim for a flexible team. We also want to try various positions, so I think this season will be a year of trying out various things."
Yoshimura is joined by Kaho Onodera at third, Anna Ohmiya at second and Yumie Funayama at lead and continues to be coached by Connor Njegovan of Canada.
Following the four Hokkaido Curling Tour events, Yoshimura will head to Canada where they will play two events in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, including the Curling Stadium Western Showdown, both of which will feature streaming coverage of every game.
Yoshimura will follow up competing at the Curlers Corners Autumn Gold in Calgary at the end of October.
On the 31st of July, she participated in a curling class held at the Bank of Yokohama Ice Arena.
She said, "It was fun until the end. I wanted to put effort into popularizing and nurturing curling, so being able to do curling with everyone was an opportunity to spread curling," she said.
Yahoo! Japan: This season's Fortius is a 'trial year' as Sayaka Yoshimura aiming to be a flexible team