In this show we review the 2022 European Curling Championships. We discuss the impact the no-tick rule had on the event and what to watch for in events going forward with this relatively new rule. Next, we break down how Denmark and Scotland were able to bring home gold and which teams surprised us. Finally, we have a grab bag of curling topics and try to guess which terrible beers the Game of Stones Podcast will send our way.
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It’s time for our annual Bad Beer Bet with the fine folks from the Game of Stones podcast. Each year we all make picks for the European A and B pools and the podcast with the fewest points has to drink the beer of the winner’s choosing. In this episode, Ryan from Rocks Across the Pond and Scott from Game of Stones preview the women’s side of the 2022 European Curling Championships. Head over to Game of Stones to hear Jonathan and Sean’s preview of the men’s side. Also, tweet us and let us know what beer we should make Sean and Scott drink after we win again.
We begin this show by recapping co-host Jonathan Havercroft’s exploits at the 2022 World Mixed Curling Championships. Then, we shift to recent curling news and results from the USA, the inaugural Pan-Continental Curling Championships and the upcoming European Curling Championships.
USA Curling’s CEO, Jeff Plush, is under fire for how he responded when notified of allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. He received allegations against a soccer coach while he was commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2015 and how he handled them calls into question whether curlers can have confidence in him to protect athletes going forward.
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.
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.