The Global Initiative for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Curling has lofty goals. They want to inspire all of curling’s stakeholders (from the very top to the grassroots) to make the sport reflect the communities in which it’s played. We are joined by India’s P.N. Raju, the USA’s Monica Walker and Sweden’s Sara Carlson to discuss the campaigns, resources, policies and practices the initiative is pursing to reach these goals. From helping organizations assess where they are in their DEI journey to identifying biases, the group wants to offer support to those who want to make a positive impact on curling.
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For the first time in almost a year we get to talk about major curling events. First, we preview the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts with Jonathan’s 10 things to watch. Then, we preview the Swiss Championships and Japanese Championships and tell you why they’re intriguing this year. Finally, we interject with an update on the cancelation for the Women’s World Curling Championships.
We are honored to join Kevin Palmer of Curl with Math & Curling Legends fame for an episode of his new podcast, Rock Logic. In this episode, we discuss the strategy behind the power play in mixed doubles curling.
Kevin previously joined our podcast to discuss the 1997 Brier final.
In 1998, the Danish women’s curling team took home silver at the Nagano Olympics. They did this despite no dedicated curling rinks anywhere in their country. Since then, curling has grown in the country and Denmark has regularly sent teams to the Olympics. We talk to Danish curling president Henrik Christoffersen and Mads Nørgaard of Team Mikkel Krause about curling in Denmark, how the country is able to attract new curlers and the unique high performance model there.
USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush was on the job for less than a month before the world changed due to a global pandemic. He joins us to discuss how USA Curling is navigating the pandemic and his plans for the future of the organization. He has high hopes to strengthen the sport in the US at all levels, from grassroots to high performance by drawing on ideas from both inside and outside of curling.
The World Championship Qualifiers in Denmark were recently suspended due to a positive COVID-19 test. Despite having similar protocols in place to the proposed Calgary curling bubble, the disease infiltrated the field of just four teams and spread quickly. Danish Curling Federation Chairman Henrik Christoffersen and Mads Nørgaard of Team Krause join us to talk about the lessons we can take away from what happened at the Danish qualifier.
We are launching a new feature on Rocks Across the Pond that we’re going to call “Run It Back”. This series looks at how curling has changed over the last quarter century. We’re starting in 1997 when the game was still largely amateur, Canada dominated the world stage and sweepers did not know how to carve a stone.
Each episode will focus on a single game. We’ll look at how things like strategy, sweeping, shot making, ice conditions, and even advertising has changed over the years. Each month from now until the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing we’ll drop an episode looking at a different game.
For our first episode, we are going to look at Jonathan’s all-time favorite curling game: the 1997 Brier final between Team Martin and Team Peters. Coming into the game both Peters and Martin had each won a Brier. The three-rock free guard zone was relatively new. The game features a sellout crowd at the Calgary Saddledome (the largest live audience to ever see a curling game). The game did not disappoint. It featured several big ends, great shots and heartbreaking misses.
Kevin Plamer joined us to help analyze the game. Kevin is curling’s leading historian. He writes the “Curl With Math” blog, which uses analytics to analyze curling strategy. He published the book “10 Ends”, a statistical approach to watching curling. He also hosts “The Curling Legends Podcast” which interviews curling greats from the invention of the slide through to the modern era.
If you want to watch the game before listening to the episode you can view it here:
If you have suggestions for future episodes feel free to drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Korea’s Team Kim Eun-jung reached incredible heights at the 2018 Olympics on home ice. However, behind the scenes they suffered at the hands of those closest to them. We talk to their coach, Peter Gallant, and curling consultant Melvin Lee about their courageous journey and their return to the top of Korean curling.
There’s plenty to talk about in the curling world, including:
- The “Curling Bubble” and what it means for the Olympics
- USA Curling’s Annual General Meeting
- Club closures in North America
- What changes clubs can make coming out of the pandemic to grow membership
- The triumphant victory of Team Kim at the Korean Curling Championships
How quickly can COVID-19 spread among participants, volunteers and spectators at a curling event? Dr. Paul Luethy joins the show to tell us. Dr. Luethy is an Assistant Professor in Pathology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Assistant Director of the Clinical Microbiology Lab at the University of Maryland Medical Center. But he’s also a curler at Potomac Curling Club. And he volunteered at the USA Curling Club National Championships, which saw an outbreak of COVID-19 in March. He recently published a study that surveyed participants at that tournament to better understand the transmission of the disease during the event. We discuss his findings and what curling centers and event organizers can learn from them.