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.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
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.
And now for something completely different. We joined Scott & Sean Graham from Game of Stones to pitch our ideas for curling movies to an actual screenwriter, Faisal Lutchmedial. Faisal most recently wrote on Endlings (broadcast on CBC and Hulu) and Ransom (broadcast on CBS and Global). He is currently developing a sci-fi action series with Netflix in the Canadian Film Centre Development Accelerator program. The “most viable” movie selected by Faisal is going to be pitched to the National Film Board of Canada by Sean! Join us as we dive into sports movie tropes and learn why they find their way into our favorite (and least favorite) films.
If you weren’t already suffering from Zoom Fatigue, we are here to talk webinars and streaming. First, Alyson Wiedenbeck joins us to discuss the wide range of topics they’re covering at the Curler Outreach Program. Then our friend Stephanie Thompson joins us to talk about how she’s helping to keep curlers of all skill levels fit during the pandemic. Jonathan and Ryan also dig into the trend of teams setting up their own webcasts and USA Curling news.
Mike Ferguson, owner of the Forfar ice rink in Scotland, joins us to talk all things Scottish Curling. We discuss how to address declining interest in curling in Scotland, their return to play during the pandemic and the newly created British Players Curling Championship.