Team curling set for 12 days of Olympic Winter Games action

  • Team Canada skip, Kevin Koe Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

When the historic inaugural Olympic mixed doubles contest concludes on Tuesday 13 February, the Gangneung Curling Centre will become the venue for the women's and men's team curling competitions of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.

Altogether twelve Member Associations have qualified teams for this event - which starts on Wednesday 14 February - from the two-year qualification process.

The ten women's Member Associations are (in qualification order): Canada, Russia (whose qualification slot will be taken by the Olympic Athlete from Russia team), Switzerland, Great Britain (qualification points gained by Scotland), United States, Sweden and Japan.

These Member Associations qualified directly from world championships, while China and Denmark took the two remaining slots available from December's final Olympic Qualification Event in the Czech Republic. These nine Member Associations are joined by hosts Korea.

Canada holds the Olympic title and is represented by the current world champions, skipped by Rachel Homan, while the skip of the Olympic Athlete from Russia team is Victoria Moiseeva, who was the European champion in 2016.

Silvana Tirinzoni leads a Swiss team that finished fourth on home ice at the 2017 European championships, while, making her third Olympic appearance, Eve Muirhead skips a Great Britain team that took bronze in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and in the colours of Scotland, won the 2017 European title.

Skip Nina Roth and her team, which includes Becca Hamilton, who competed in the mixed doubles event, won the right to represent United States. This team finished fifth in the CPT World Women's Curling Championship 2017 in Beijing, China.

Sweden is skipped by Anna Hasselborg and this team took silver at both the 2016 and 2017 Europeans as well as finishing fourth in last year's World Curling Championship.

Satsuki Fujisawa is the skip for Japan and she led her team to silver medals at the 2016 world championship as well as gold at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015.

Joining these seven direct qualifiers are Olympic Qualification Event winners China, whose skip Bingyu Wang won her country's only world title in 2009 - in what was the first international championship to be staged at the Gangneung Curling Centre - and took bronze at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Denmark's Madeleine Dupont skipped her team to take the last available place at the final Olympic Qualification Event to compete in her second Olympic Winter Games.

The host country team is led by skip EunJung Kim, and this team have won the last two Pacific Asia championships, including an unbeaten run in last year's event.

Of the 50 female athletes taking part (including alternates), all will be making their Olympic debuts, except:

Third appearance: Denise Dupont (DEN), Mari Motohashi (JPN), Kelly Schafer [Wood] (GBR), Eve Muirhead (GBR), Bingyu Wang (CHN), Yan Zhou (CHN).

Second appearance: Vicki Adams (GBR), Cheryl Bernard (CAN), Madeleine Dupont (DEN), Lauren Gray (GBR), Agnes Knochenhauer (SWE), Jinli Liu (CHN), Anna Sloan (GBR), Chinami Yoshida (JPN).

The ten men's Federations are (in qualification order): Canada, Sweden, United States, Japan, Switzerland, Great Britain (qualification points gained by Scotland) and Norway.

These Member Associations qualified directly from the World Curling Championships, while Italy and Denmark took the two remaining slots available from December's final Olympic Qualification Event in the Czech Republic. These nine Member Associations are joined by hosts Korea.

As in the women's event, Canada won Olympic gold in 2014 and their team is led by two-times world champion Kevin Koe.

Niklas Edin leads Sweden in what will be his third Olympic campaign. This Swedish team are the current European champions and world silver medallists, while Edin led a different line-up to bronze in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

United States is led by four-times Olympian John Shuster, who won Olympic bronze in 2006, and includes Matt Hamilton who played alongside his sister Becca in the mixed doubles event.

Japan's skip Yusuke Morozumi leads a team that has won medals at the last six Pacific-Asia Curling Championships.

Unusually, Switzerland's skip Peter de Cruz plays second stones for his team. The Swiss were bronze medallists at both last year's European and world championships.

The Great Britain team, skipped by Kyle Smith, took silver for Scotland at the 2017 European championships, while the Norway team, skipped by Thomas Ulsrud, Olympic silver medallists in 2010 and former world champions, includes the most experienced Olympian in the field - Torger Nergaard, who will be making his fifth Olympic appearance.

Italy's skip Joel Retornaz plays third stones for his team and he will be returning to Olympic action as winner of the final Olympic Qualification Event, having played previously when the 2006 Games were hosted in Turin, Italy.

The Danish men, 2016 world silver medallists under skip Rasmus Stjerne, became the last team of all to qualify for this line-up by finishing second at the Olympic Qualification Event.

Hosts Korea are skipped by Chang-Min Kim and are winners of the 2017 Pacific-Asia championship.

Altogether 18 of the 50 male athletes will be returning to Olympic action at this event. They are:

Fifth appearance: Torger Nergaard (NOR).

Fourth appearance: John Shuster (USA).

Third appearance: Niklas Edin (SWE), Oskar Eriksson (NOR), Johnny Frederiksen (DEN), Haavard Vad Petersson (NOR), Mikkel Poulsen (DEN), Christoffer Svae (NOR), Thomas Ulsrud (NOR).

Second appearance: Ben Herbert (CAN), Marc Kennedy (CAN), John Landsteiner (USA), Claudio Paetz (SWI), Joe Polo (USA), Joel Retornaz (ITA), Benoit Schwarz (SWI), Rasmus Stjerne (DEN), Markus Hoiberg (NOR).

The team curling competition takes the form of separate women's and men's nine-game round-robins, starting on Wednesday 14 February and going through to Wednesday 21 February.

These games aim to produce four semi-finalists, using tie-breakers if necessary. In the semi-finals (men: Thursday 22 February | women: Friday 23 February), the top-ranked round-robin team will play the fourth ranked, while the second and third-ranked teams play each other.

The semi-final losers face each other for bronze medals (men: Friday 23 February | women: Saturday 24 February) and the winners then go on play the gold medal final (men: Saturday 24 February | women: Sunday 25 February).

For all the curling action from the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 follow the World Curling Federation on Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) Twitter and Instagram (@worldcurling) and use the hashtags: #curling #PyeongChang2018