Sport in the spotlight: Curling
Curling

Sport in the spotlight: Curling

05 February 2018 / 10:39

Curling formed part of the programme at the very first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924 but was not to appear again as a medal event until Nagano 1998.

It was a demonstration sport at Lake Placid 1932, Calgary 1988 and Albertville 1992 while the results from Chamonix 1924 were only considered official by the IOC in 2006.

Curling’s reintroduction onto the Olympic programme in 1998 saw both men’s and women’s competitions with PyeongChang 2018 set to be the sport’s sixth successive appearance, while mixed curling will also be making its first ever Olympic appearance in South Korea.

Canada are the most successful nation having medalled at every single Games since 1998 – that amounting to five gold, three silver and two bronze.

Schedule

February 14

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Switzerland – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Olympic Athletes from Russia – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Canada – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 15

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v United States of America – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Japan – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v China – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 16

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Sweden – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 17

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Denmark – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v South Korea – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v South Korea – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 18

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Sweden – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Italy – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 19

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Denmark – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Switzerland – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 20

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v Norway – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Japan – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

February 21

Women’s pool match: Great Britain v Canada – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Men’s pool match: Great Britain v United States of America – 14:05-17:00 (05:05-08:00 UK time)

February 22

Men’s and women’s tie-breaker – 09:05-12:00 (00:05-03:00 UK time)

Men’s semi-finals – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 23

Men’s bronze-medal match – 15:35-18:30 (06:35-09:30 UK time)

Women’s semi-finals – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 24

Men’s gold-medal match – 15:35-18:55 (06:35-09:55 UK time)

Women’s bronze-medal match – 20:05-23:00 (11:05-14:00 UK time)

February 25

Women’s gold-medal match  – 09:05-12:25 (00:05-03:25 UK time)

Thomas Eve and Glenn Muirhead Team GB curling team announcement PyeongChang

How Team GB has fared in the past

Team GB’s greatest single success since Chamonix 1924 came at Salt Lake 2002 when Rhona Martin delivered her ‘Stone of Destiny’ for gold at the expense of Switzerland.

Four years ago in Sochi, Team GB medalled in both the men’s and women’s events for the first time in their history. The men’s rink under David Murdoch claimed silver after missing out to Brad Jacob’s Canada while Eve Muirhead and her team took bronze, with Canada crowned champions.

Britwatch

Vicki Adams

Born in Edinburgh, Vicki Adams lived in Majorca as a child before moving back to Stranraer, where she was first introduced to curling.

Adams was a member of Eve Muirhead’s curling rink that won a bronze medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, after taking gold with Scotland at the 2011 European Championships in Moscow and the 2013 World Championships in Riga.

Most recently, Adams picked up her second European title – and seventh medal at that level – when she and the team triumphed at the Championships in St. Gallen last November, while a world bronze also came earlier in the year.

Lauren Gray

Lauren Gray started curling aged eight, and broke onto the international scene when she won gold at the 2009 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival while completing her final year of high school.

Glasgow-born Gray made her Olympic Winter Games debut at Sochi 2014 as alternate for the Team GB rink which won bronze, after she claimed the world title a year earlier.

A second world medal arrived in 2017 with bronze before Gray picked up her fourth European medal – and first gold – later in November when Team Muirhead triumphed at the Championships in St. Gallen.

Eve Muirhead

Eve Muirhead became the youngest ever skip to win a Winter Olympic medal when she guided Team GB to bronze at Sochi 2014 in what was her second Games appearance.

Four years earlier, the Perth-born curler was chosen as the Team GB women’s skip aged just 19 as she made her Olympic Winter Games debut in Vancouver.

Three-time world medallist Muirhead took up the sport aged nine, with family success going back to her father Gordon, who competed at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France.

A four-time world junior champion, Muirhead has won multiple European and world senior medals – including a second gold at the 2017 European Championships in November – and will once again skip the Team GB women’s curling rink in PyeongChang.

Kelly Schafer

Kelly Schafer (née Wood) has experience of two previous Olympic Winter Games having competed at Vancouver 2010 and Turin 2006.

The Dundee-born curler’s first senior medals came in 2007, when she won European silver and world bronze. Schafer went on to upgrade these to two silvers in 2010 while she finally got her hands on a major title last November with European gold.

This came after bronze at the World Championships earlier in the year. Now a three-time world and four-time European medallist, and a previous Great Britain skip, she will be the alternate in Team Muirhead’s rink in PyeongChang.

Anna Sloan

Anna Sloan made her debut for Team GB at the 2009 European Youth Olympic Festival, skipping her rink to gold in Silesia.

The Scot also won gold at the World Student Games in 2011, in the same year she linked up with skip Eve Muirhead, with whom she won her first senior world title in 2013.

Glasgow Caledonian University graduate Sloan made her Olympic debut at Sochi 2014, winning bronze alongside Muirhead, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton.

The two-time world medallist also has eight European medals to her name, and picked up her second gold last November at the Championships held in St Gallen.

Glen Muirhead

Glen Muirhead was selected to make his Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018.

The older brother of Olympic bronze medallist and Team GB women’s skip Eve Muirhead, he was part of the team which reached the final of the Grand Slam of Curling in 2016 and also won silver last November at the 2017 European Championships.

The Perth-born curler already had plenty of titles under his belt before that, winning the Swiss Cup, Curling Masters and Mercure Masters in 2014.

Thomas Muirhead

Thomas Muirhead makes his Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018.

The younger brother of Olympic bronze medallist Eve Muirhead, Thomas reached the final of the Grand Slam of Curling in 2016 – the first time a British men’s team had achieved this feat – and more recently won European silver last November.

The team also enjoyed success at youth level, winning World Junior Championship gold and World Universiade silver in 2013.

Cammy Smith

Cammy Smith makes his Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018 alongside older brother Kyle.

Smith, whose uncle Peter represented Team GB at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and whose father David was world champion in 1991, enjoyed success at youth level, winning World Junior Championship gold and World Universiade silver in 2013.

More recently he was part of the team which reached the final of the Grand Slam of Curling in 2016 and then last year won European silver in St. Gallen.

Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith is the skip of Team GB’s men’s curling rink for PyeongChang 2018, where he will be making his Olympic Winter Games debut.

In 2016, the Perthshire-born curler was skip of the first British men’s team to reach a Grand Slam final while he also led the rink to European silver in November 2017.

Smith’s team, which includes his younger brother Cammy, enjoyed success at youth level, winning World Junior Championship gold and World Universiade silver in 2013.

Kyle Waddell

Kyle Waddell makes his Olympic Winter Games debut at PyeongChang 2018 off the back of a successful end to 2017 with the Olympic rink taking silver at the European Championships.

The Bellshill-born curler was also part of the team which reached the final of the Grand Slam of Curling in 2016.

Waddell, whose grandfather Jimmy Waddell was European curling champion in 1979, also enjoyed success at youth level, winning World Junior Championship gold and World Universiade silver in 2013 as well as the Scottish Junior titles in 2012 and 2013.

Who is the competition?

Canada

Winners of both men’s and women’s gold medals four years ago, the Canadian teams are back once more to show everyone what they’ve got.

Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones led their country to glory in Sochi, though the former will not take his place in PyeongChang after missing out on qualification.

South Korea

As hosts, South Korea will certainly have the home crowd behind as they look to make the most of the familiar conditions.

The men’s team didn’t compete four years ago while the women’s dead, with Kim Ji-Sun and her rink only winning three out of their nine round-robin matches.

Sweden

Only two nations have competed every time curling has been at the Games in both the men’s and women’s disciplines – Great Britain and Sweden.

But beyond just competing, Sweden have become a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the women’s competition where they’ve won two golds and one silver medal in the last three Games dating back to 2006.

Norway

A nation full of ups and downs when it comes to the curling rink, Norway are a team capable of providing a sting in their tail.

They’ve reached the men’s podium in three of the past five Games, though four years ago they were only good enough for fifth, a disappointment they will be keen to address.

Sportsbeat 2018

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