Recently, USA Curling’s board of directors voted to remove the regional association representing clubs in the Eastern United States, the Grand National Curling Club. We dive into why this happened, what this means, possible resolutions and the next steps for the two organizations. Joining us are Kristen Conrad, vice chair of the GNCC board of directors, and Dean Gemmell, USA Curling’s director of curling development.
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Today we are joined by Germany’s Klaudius Harsch recent winner of two world championship medals: a bronze in mixed doubles with his partner Pia-Lisa Schöll, and a silver as part of Germany’s junior men’s team. We recorded the interview between the two events. We discuss what curling is like in Germany. How he got into mixed doubles. How professional curling works in Germany. His future plans in the sport, and where he thinks mixed doubles is headed. Join us for a conversation with one of curling’s rising stars.
In this episode Jonathan interviews two people who helped the Ukraine national team leave Kyiv, find a new training facility in Finland, and compete in the European C Curling Championship. First we talk with Natalia Menzhega the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Curling Federation. She talks about the history of curling in Ukraine, how she helped members of the national team leave the country once the war with Russia began, and the support the team received from the international curling community. We then talk with Lauri Ikälvo from the Kisakalio Sports Institute about how the Finnish curling community is now hosting the Ukrainian national team.
Latvia’s wheelchair curling team, led by skip Poļina Rožkova, made its Paralympic debut at the 2022 Games in Beijing. Poļina tells us about the team’s road from the B division to Paralympic qualification and takes us behind the scenes in Beijing. This includes her team’s conversations about whether or not to potentially play against Russia and her efforts to help Ukrainian refugees. We also learn about how Poļina got into curling in Latvia and how she 3D printed her own head for her delivery stick.
Stewart Pimblett has been a dedicated curler even before he started playing. His journey to try the sport at the rink in Kelso, Scotland was a harrowing one and is one of the most incredible “how I started curling” stories you’ll hear. He went on to establish the Northern Ice Wheelchair Curling Club and has grown it into a vibrant organization. Stewart tells us how he went from a high-level wheelchair basketball player to representing England in wheelchair curling. He also explains what curling facilities can do to help grow wheelchair curling.
The 2022 World Junior B Curling Championships, which determine the final entrants for World Juniors, was canceled on Jan. 6 after an outbreak of COVID-19 among the competitors. We are joined not only by our usual co-host, Jonathan Havercroft, but by all of Team England: Joe Sugden, Felix Price, Archer Woods and Harry Pinnell. They tell us about their experience at the tournament, their reaction to its cancelation and how the last two years have impacted their young curling careers.
What a couple of weeks it’s been in the curling world. For the Olympic qualifier, we cover Australia’s mixed doubles triumph, the start of the men’s and women’s events and the EasyToys sponsorship resolution. Next, we discuss upcoming events that have already been canceled and the status of others. Finally, Jonathan puts the breakup of Team Bottcher in historical context and speculates on the reasons Team Gushue may want to enter play-downs.
We go around the world as curling teams start earning spots at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing. We cover the USA Curling Olympic Trials, Canadian Olympic Trials, European Championships and the upcoming mixed doubles Olympic Qualification Event. In addition to the action on the ice, we talk about the hoops we’ve had to jump through to actually watch the games. Hear about what’s going right and what’s going wrong in the world of curling live streams.
In this episode:
- Recapping the World Wheelchair Curling Championships
- Updates from the Canadian pre-trials & US mixed doubles trials
- The Scottish women’s team is selected for Euros (but not Olympic qualifying)
- A recent event looking at why young women are dropping out of youth curling in Scotland
- Looking ahead to international events and Olympic trials
In this episode we discuss the fragmented state of curling live streams and how it mirrors the world of streaming overall. What will the future hold for live streaming of curling events, both on tour and at the national and world level? Also in this episode:
- Olympic qualifiers
- Canadian Pre-Trials
- British Curling’s team selections
- World Wheelchair Curling Championships
- USA Curling’s updated transgender participation policy and guidance