The choices to follow Vancouver 2010 and host curling’s sixth official Olympiad are South Korea’s PyeongChang, the Austrian city of Salzburg in central Europe, and Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
The vote takes place at International Olympic Committee meetings set to begin shortly in Guatemala, with July 4 the magic day of reckoning.
Pundits have recently put the Russians squarely in third place, with PyeongChang and Salzburg running one-two in the race to host. The Koreans should be the favourites, however, given that they very nearly scooped the 2010 Games from Vancouver at the last minute. Remember that?
Curling would take place in the nearby city of Gangneung, along with all other ice sports. The existing facility is already pegged to host the 2009 World Women’s Curling Championship, following next year’s 2008 Ford Women’s Worlds in Vernon, British Columbia.
Salzburg, which has a rich winter sport history, would put curling in the new (2004) Salzburg Arena, city centre, with some 5,000 seats.
Sochi would have to build a new facility, dubbed the Imeretinaskaya Exhibition Center, which would seat 3,000 and also serve as the new national curling centre. Sochi, by the way, is a truly odd place, serving as both a sea and ski resort. That’s right... snow on the tops of plam trees, people. Wouldn’t mind getting weird with that.
Who will win and who should win are often two very different concepts... particularly to IOC votemakers. Suffice to say that four years after Vancouver, curling’s big show will take place in a comparitively exotic locale.
• The Canadian Curling Association has announced the sites and dates for the 2008 Canadian Mixed and Seniors competitions: it’s the Calgary Curling Club for the Mixed on Nov. 10-16, and Prince Albert in Saskatchewan for the Canadian Seniors, taking place March 22-30 ...
• So where, pray tell, is the Brier on this otherwise engaging list of 101 Great Sporting Events One Must Visit Before One Dies? Nowhere to be found. Is this ignorance or purely a diss? We suspect the latter, given the inclusion of ridiculous things like #64, inspiring things like #60, very Canadian things like #59, and hatchet jobs like the one found at the end of #57 ...
• Here’s a well-done kid’s feature on curling, originating from PBS’ DragonflyTV ...
• Finally, a YouTube look at Houston’s recent Texas Open Bonspiel... hey, where’s Dan?