Curling, the only sport to run for the full duration of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, will be held at the five-floor Gangneung Curling Centre. With four ice sheets in the 3,500 capacity venue, and the addition of a new mixed doubles curling event, curling fans are guaranteed to be in for a treat every single day of the Winter Games.
Canada will again be the team to beat in PyeongChang after they won gold in both the men’s and women’s event at Sochi 2014. In the six Olympic Games curling has been staged, Canada have won a total of five gold medals, three silver and two bronze. Canada also took home gold in the men’s event at the 2017 World Championships and silver in the women’s event, after going down to Russia in the final.
Hot on their heels no doubt will be Sweden and Great Britain who took out the four remaining minor medals at Sochi.
Qualification, Nomination & Selection
Australia is not anticipating qualifying any curling teams for PyeongChang 2018, however details on the qualification process can be viewed here >>>.
Competition Format & Events
The pace and strategy of curling has given it the nickname of “Chess on Ice”. Curling is a team sport where players strategise over each slide. As one competitor sends the large 19.96kg granite stone down a marked sheet of ice (45.72m in length) their teammates sweep their path. The object of sweeping is to create a thin film of moisture between the stone and the ice to act as a lubricant. This makes the stone travel faster and makes it less likely to deviate from a straight line or “curl”.
Men’s and women’s curling matches are contested between two teams with four players each, consisting of the lead, the second, the third and the skip (team captain). Their aim is to place the stone as close as possible to the centre called the ‘tee’.
One game consists of ten "ends" and lasts about 2 hours and 40 minutes. A team delivers eight stones - two stones per person, in a set order until all sixteen stones have been delivered. The team with the highest total score wins.
Both the men’s and women’s tournaments in the Olympic curling competition consist of 10 teams each competing in a round robin tournament. During the preliminary series, each team plays against all other teams. Based on the results of the round robin, the four best teams advance to the semifinals with the 1st place team playing 4th place and 2nd vs 3rd. The winners of each semifinal play in the gold medal game and the losers play in the bronze medal game.
A mixed doubles curling event will be introduced on the Olympic programme at PyeongChang 2018. Unlike in the men’s or women’s curling where teams of four receive 38 minutes of strategy time and each game is scheduled for 10 ends, in mixed doubles teams will be composed of two players – one male and one female.
Each game is scheduled for eight ends and each team receives 22 minute of strategy time. Each team will deliver five stones per end, and the player delivering the team’s first stone of the end must also deliver the team’s last stone of that end. Prior to the start of every end, two stones shall place at the playing end of the sheet (center guard and back button).
Australia and Olympic Curling
Australia is yet to qualify a curling team for an Olympic Games. Australia narrowly missed qualifying a team for Vancouver 2010. The men’s team progressed well through the world qualifications and it looked like history would be created, with our first curling Olympians, however they fell just short.
Like the granite stones curlers glide across the ice, it is clear that Australia is inching closer towards an Olympic target.
Pre-PyeongChang AUS Tally
18 (Days -1 – 16)
Gangneung Curling Centre
- Medal Events
3 (3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze)
- Total Athletes
116 individuals/28 teams (58 men & 58 women)