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.
What was it like at the world’s highest bonspiel? Find out in this episode all about curling in India with PN Raju. First, we talk about how he discovered curling and started playing in Oakland, Calif. Then, he tells us about the history of the Curling Federation of India, their recent national championships held in the Himalayas and how soon you’ll see India at World Curling events.
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.
Gery Hermans from Belgian Curling returns to the podcast to discuss the world senior curling championship. Jonathan and Gery review the 2022 world senior curling championship and the Gery replays two interviews he completed at the event. The first is with Canadian Team Coach Bill Tschirhart. Bill is also the host of the podcast “A Pane in the Glass”.
Then Gery introduces his second guest Lorne de Pape of New Zealand curling. Lorne discusses what curling is like in New Zealand, and his experience qualifying the Kiwis for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Finally Gery and JOnathan discuss the comradery at the world senior championships and upcoming events at Gery’s home rink in Zemst, Belgium.
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.
Sweden captured four curling medals during the Olympics and Paralympics in 2022, including gold for Niklas Edin. But did this unparalleled success lead to more curlers in the country? We talk to development officer Sara Carlsson to find out all about curling in Sweden: from how their high performance program is set up to the changes they’ve made to recruit new curlers. Sweden has had plenty of wins on the ice. However, we found the most interesting part of the conversation to be the wins they’ve had off the ice and how they’re addressing issues that are common around the world. These include initiatives that they have developed with Dr. Richard Norman and Dr. Heather Mair with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
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.