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.
What does it mean to be a member of USA Curling? What benefits does an individual or club get from membership? That’s now in the process of changing. USA Curling is rolling out a new membership structure where individuals, not just clubs, can join the national organization. In this show, we talk about what that means and the impact it will have on curlers and clubs with Mid-South Curling Club’s Evan Lu and USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush. Evan will also tell us the history of his club and how a small arena club in the south recruits and retains members.
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.
This is part of our series, “Run it Back,” which looks at key games during curling’s Olympic age. We start with the 1997 Brier Final between Kevin Martin and Vic Peters. Kevin Palmer of Curling Legends Podcast and Curl with Math joins us to discuss this game’s place in curling history. Among the topics: Warren Hansen and moving the Brier to big arenas, Rudy Ramcharan and diversity in curling, God Shammgod, 2000 Flushes Blue, Steve Nash’s Rookie Year and why you’d paint the free guard zone.
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
It wasn’t long ago that Shamrock Curling Club in Edmonton looked like it might close. Now, the club is thriving and has attracted a younger generation to curling. One of the people behind this revival is general manager Chris McTavish. In this episode, Chris tells us the story of how the Shamrock took a different approach to its leagues in order to earn a reputation as the “fun” club. We also learn about the new challenges the club is facing and how they are dealing with curling during the pandemic.
How do you build a country’s curling culture from scratch? Find out during our interview with Fred Randver of Estonia’s Curling Tallinn. Fred tells the history of curling in Estonia and how they were able to get a world-class facility built in Tallinn. Thanks to this facility, the country is quickly developing quality grassroots and high performance programs.