Curling? Why are we talking about curling in September?
Because the World Curling Federation, looking to take advantage of strong interest in the sport following the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, has initiated a four-leg series with tournaments in:
∙ Suzhou (CHN), starting 12 September
∙ Omaha, Nebraska (USA), starting 5 December
∙ Jonkoping (SWE), starting 30 January 2019
∙ Beijing (CHN), starting 8 May 2019
The rules are slightly modified to speed up the action. There will be eight ends (instead of 10) in all matches, with ties decided by one-stone shoot-outs. Eight teams will compete in men’s and women’s team competitions and in Mixed Doubles. Among the entries:
∙ Kevin Koe (CAN) ~ World Champion in 2016
∙ Bruce Mouat (SCO) ~ World championships bronze medalists in 2018
∙ Niklas Edin (SWE) ~ World Champion in 2013-15-18; Olympic silver in 2018
∙ Peter de Cruz (SUI) ~ World Championships bronze medalists in 2017; Olympic bronze 2018
∙ Rachel Homan (CAN) ~ World Champions in 2017
∙ Anna Hasselborg (SWE) ~ Olympic gold medalists in 2018
∙ Satsuki Fujisawa (JPN) ~ World Championships silver medalists in 2016
∙ Anna Sidorova (RUS) ~ World Championships silver in 2017, bronze in 2014-15-16-18
∙ Nina Roth (USA) ~ U.S. champions in 2010 & 2014, U.S. Olympic Trials winners in 2017
∙ Jenny Perret/Martin Rios (SUI) ~ Olympic silver medalists in 2018
∙ Maria Komarova/Daniil Goriachev (RUS) ~ World Championships silver in 2018
The U.S. has a men’s team led by Peter Ruohonen (skip) and Greg Persinger (vice); the U.S. Mixed Doubles team of Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin finished 13th at the 2018 World Mixed Doubles Championships.
Prize money of $66,000 will be available to the men’s and women’s teams and $33,000 for the Mixed Doubles teams. You can follow the action here. In the U.S., the NBC Olympic Channel has extensive coverage.