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Rock-efeller Curling

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First they curled in Central Park. Now the sport is set for another promotional boost in New York City as curling hits the ice at the famed Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan.

Yep, the Korbel Elite Curling Challenge is back, and filming goes this Friday, for any interested passers-by. The USA Curling affair will be filmed and run as a 90-minute TV special on NBC on December 23.

Last year’s Challenge featured teams Pete Fenson and Deb McCormick in a battle of the sexes at Whistler, B.C. which included celebrity non-curlers Dan Jansen, a four-time Olympian and speed skating gold medallist, and Picabo Street, two-time Olympic medallist and arguably the greatest downhill skier in U.S. history.

This Saturday, Fenson talkes on charismatic Swedish champion Peja Lindholm in the outdoor match, which is sure to cause more than a few double-takes. Both teams are stopping in New Yawk en route to an AWCT stop in Brooks, Alberta.

Meanwhile, Team Fenson is scheduled as guests on NBC’s Today Show this Friday morning (exact time not set). Well, this should be their long-overdue post-Torino appearance, but we shall not whinge, shall we?

Wow. Rockefeller Plaza. The very place made famous by this legendary show and, more recently, this smash hit show, too. Hey... wonder if Alec will swing by between takes. He’s curled once himself, ya know. Ask him.

Elsewhere:

• The top four Swiss men’s and women’s teams begin a Trials event today for the right to represent Switzerland at the European Championships in Füssen in December. The Trials wrap up on the weekend.

The big news here is that the top-ranked Ralph Stöckli team is ravaged by injuries – literally. Lead Simon Strübin missed most of the Bern Open and third Jan Hauser has blown out his leg – he is insured, incidentally, following a history of soccer injuries. Shocklingly, Hauser may have to compete and call the game today, and throughout the qualifier. The team will also miss the Pheasant Classic in Brooks the following weekend ...

• Scotland is also playing down this weekend to announce their Füssen reps, and ice whiz Hans Wuthrich is on the scene ...

• Did we really disclose something? Where? When? People are actually reading this thing? Geez ...

• The ConManis back in action, boasting about Alberta teams (of course) and trying to help us understand the Canadian Olympic Trials qualification process. In this earlier story, he summarizes Bonnyville ...

• Talk about trying to understand things: we don’t like math – sorry, Kevin – and it sure sounds like Saskatchewan could use a mathematician – hey, get over there, Kevin ...

• There’s yet more talk about a new Scottish facility to replace the Aviemore ...

• PEI’s new Curling Hall of Fame starts things off with a Nov. 15 induction ceremony ...

• Calling all ice techs: Axel is asking for advice on weird happenings in Guelph ...

• Ah yes, those Ashams really do live forever ...

• And finally, attention Toronto winos... er, singles...