10 Jun 2015 – New Zealand’s curlers are delighted to learn that the International Olympic Committee has confirmed the addition of Mixed Doubles Curling to the Winter Olympic programme for the 2018 Games at PyeongChang in Korea.
As an added bonus, the IOC announcement comes at an ideal time for the upcoming Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015.
“This is wonderful news for the sport of curling in general, and for New Zealand Curling in particular,” said Sam Inder, Chairman of the New Zealand Curling Association. “Mixed Doubles will be the third curling event to become a Winter Olympic sport, and its inclusion is due recognition that curling is now the fastest growing winter sport in the world.”
Although curling is a minority sport in New Zealand, it has a long and proud history. In Mixed Doubles, the country boasts a silver medal and two other top-ten placings at World Championships over the last eight years.
|NZ Silver – Sean Becker, Bridget Becker and coach Scott Becker at the World Mixed Doubles Championship 2010. Photo © WCF|
The IOC news has come as NZ Curling is organising the Mixed Doubles Curling event at the Winter Games NZ later this year.
Proposed rule changes leading to its first Olympic showing will be trialled for the first time at the Naseby tournament, and it is expected that Northern Hemisphere teams will relish the chance to experience the new rules at a top-flight international event.
Winter Games NZ CEO Arthur Klap said the decision was a “fantastic” development for New Zealand Curling and for the Games.
“In August we will be able to see the likely contenders for the Olympic gold medal curling in the Mixed Doubles tournament at the Games,” he said. “This action-packed event will now be made even more exciting, and we look forward to seeing New Zealand and 2018 host nation, Korea, competing against other international curling powerhouses such as Canada and the United States.”
Naseby’s Maniototo Curling International rink will host the Mixed Doubles Curling tournament at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ from 23 to 27 August.