In this episode we discuss: COVID-19’s impact on the business of curling; the World Curling Tour’s new ranking system; Scotland and Russia’s new methods for selecting their World Championship representatives; the Worlds as just an Olympic qualifier; the impact this might eventually have on the Brier and Scotties.
Curling has evolved rapidly as a result of its place in the Winter Olympic Games since 1998. One of the hot-button topics surrounding this is the place of Canada’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Brier in the sport as it continues to move forward.
The unique provincial format of the Scotties and Brier is a big part of what makes compelling. However, the debate as to whether this format is hindering Canada’s teams on the world level has grown.
What would the Scotties and Brier look like if it was just another national championship? How different would the 2020 fields have been if Canada used formats similar to other curling nations? Let’s take a look.
The changes in curling in the United States and in high-level curling can be told through the story of John Shuster. His Olympic triumph vindicated his team and legitimized USA curling. This is the story of the changes in Shuster’s sport, his team and himself that led to that moment.
Jamie Danbrook joins us to talk about his curling career and his current gig as an ice maker. He’s played at junior worlds with Brett Gallant and the Brier with Brad Gushue. Now he makes ice in Nova Scotia and for the World Curling Federation. Jamie has made ice all over the world and faced some pretty difficult ice builds. We also get all science-y on you about the impact water quality and weather has on curling ice.
Non-curling topics: “This is fine,” how we’re staying sane and shows we’re binge watching.
Curling topics: The 2020 World Championships are officially canceled. We discuss how this will affect team selection and the Olympics.
Special Guest: Stephanie Thompson, a Registered Kinesiologist and the second on Team Wasylkiw, talks about staying fit even while sheltering in place, catering your routine specifically for curling, simple things new curlers can do to improve mobility and much, much more.
More about Stephanie’s practice, Empowered Performance
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We interrupt your regular existential dread to bring you some things that don’t matter. We talk the cancelation of all things curling, team changes and how we’re coping with quarantine. We need to keep podcasting to stay sane, so please send us topics you’d like us to cover to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We discuss arena curling strategies (as in U.S. arena curling clubs), trends from the Scotties and Brier and worldwide national championships before previewing women’s worlds. Get a team-by-team breakdown including how this year’s tournament will impact the race for Olympic points.
A division in Polish Curling came to a head in February 2020 when the WCF suspended the Polish Curling Association. We look into the reasons likely at the root of the suspension and are joined by Marcin Madej of the Polish Federation of Curling Clubs. Marcin provides insight into the history of curling in Poland, the division between his organization and the PCA and how the sport can move forward in his country.
We start by recapping the many national curling championships that just completed, including Scotland, Switzerland, Japan and the US. We finish off by discussing the recent hire of Jeff Plush as the new CEO of USA Curling, hear from some people who know him better than we do and talk about what his success will look like if you’re a club curler.
Jonathan and Ryan preview the upcoming championships for the USA, Scotland, Switzerland and Japan (plus we spend about 30 seconds on Sweden). Will any young up-and-coming teams claim titles? Why is it so important that Japan is missing out on this year’s Men’s World Championship? Why doesn’t Jonathan like Tim Horton’s? We attempt to answer these questions and more!
For more on the USA Curling National Championships, check out Ep44 with the 12th End Sports Network’s Joe Calabrese. Click here for a streaming schedule for this month’s curling championships.