Six of the most memorable Curling World Cup moments so far
What has been your favourite memory so far?
The Curling World Cup Grand Final is almost upon us! Before the season’s climax in Beijing, we take a look back on our time in Suzhou, Omaha and Jonkoping and select some of the most memorable moments from our inaugural season.
Sweden get the crowd going on penultimate night in Jonkoping
A full crowd was packed into the Jonkoping Curling Club to see one of moments of the Curling World Cup thus far. Home favourites Team Anna Hasselborg, faced their long-time rivals Team Anna Sidorova in a winner-takes-it-all (in true Abba fashion) clash to decide the last spot in the final.
A last stone draw to the four-foot by skip Hasselborg sent the bleachers into euphoria, with members of the team’s family in the crowd watching every moment. It was a true “I was there” moment!
Fujisawa captures Omaha win
Not all the most memorable moments provide happy memories for all. Korean skip Minji Kim had a shot at glory in Omaha with the last stone of the game, requiring a draw to the four-foot, but her stone failed to sit, gifting victory to Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa at the Ralston Arena.
The elation on the faces of the Japanese women in contrast to the Koreans’ dumbfounded expressions displayed the pure emotion that sport – and especially curling – can produce on the world stage.
Young guns shock in Jonkoping
Few knew about the young Canadian duo before Jonkoping, but everybody was aware of Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott afterwards. On their way to winning the mixed doubles event in Sweden, they defeated four Olympic medallists, including Omaha champion Kristin Skaslien in the final.
The pair’s family, who had flown 6,500km to watch them in action, witnessed their memorable triumph in leg three and provided plenty of emotion inside the Jonkoping Curling Club to begin finals day.
Before landing success in Jonkoping, it’s fair to say Korea’s Team Minji Kim did not get off to the best of starts in the Curling World Cup. Prior to leg one in Suzhou, the young Korean outfit had let slip that Team Rachel Homan were their role models, and luckily enough they had the chance to play them during the round-robin stage.
But their dream soon turned into a nightmare as they were whitewashed 12-0 by Homan. It wasn’t the welcome Korea had expected, but with lessons learned and experience gained, they had their eyes on a shock next time round.
Minji Kim’s team came back to beat the then world champions – and eventual Suzhou winners – in the final round-robin game, 8-2, which spurred them onto great success in the following two legs.
One. Two. Three.
It was jubilation all-round for Canada in Suzhou, with all three teams winning their respective disciplines in leg one. Team Kevin Koe, Team Rachel Homan and mixed doubles pair Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres booked their places in the Grand Final and took home $USD 69,500 between them in the process.
Each of them sealed a spot in Beijing one after another on finals day, and with nine months separating the two events in China, can we expect another Canadian treble in the Grand Final?
Never give up!
The final in Omaha could not have started any worse for Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten. The Olympic bronze medallists gave up four in the opening end to Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios but certainly did not give up and fought their way back into the contest.
After picking up a deuce in the next end, the Norwegian duo claimed consecutive steals of one, two and one to pile the pressure back on the Swiss couple.
A score of four in the seventh completed the comeback for Skaslien and Nedregotten as they ensured a spot in the Grand Final.