The ice had barely cooled from the first of six bubble curling events in Calgary before talk began of curling powers adding a seventh.
The rumours grew in magnitude until today, whereupon the World Curling Federation announced that the recently cancelled World Women’s Curling Championship 2021, originally scheduled to take place in Schaffhausen, Switzerland March 19–28 will now be held at the WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary from April 30 through May 9.
This extends the “#HubCity2021“ bubble into a fourth month. Following last week’s wrap of the Scotties Canadian women’s championship and tonight’s start of the Canadian men’s Brier, the event run will continue with the Canadian mixed doubles, the WCF’s world men’s titleshoot, two Grand Slam of Curling tournaments and then the world women’s.
“We are delighted to have reached an agreement to hold the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship in the Calgary bubble,“ said WCF president, Kate Caithness. “This is a vitally important championship for Olympic Qualification.
“We are extremely grateful to Curling Canada and all our stakeholders for their willingness to work together, and at such short notice, to ensure that qualification for Beijing 2022 happens on the ice and in competition.“
Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada, said: “The protocols that have been in place for the early events in Calgary have proved successful in keeping athletes, officials and the host city safe, so we feel good about this plan carrying on successfully through to the end of the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship.
“Our Board of Governors has been truly supportive of our plans from day one as we started down this road, and then as this late situation presented itself, they again stood behind us. It is a result of the positive relationships between our Board and the World Curling Federation that we have been entrusted with this opportunity”
The world women’s shootout will feature 14 teams competing for the world title: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, The Russian Curling Federation Team (name to be confirmed following global sanction for multiple doping scandals), Scotland, Sweden, reigning champions Switzerland and the United States. The six highest ranking National Olympic Committees will earn their place in the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games women’s team competition.
In order to provide space in the calendar to hold the women’s worlds, the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021 will now take place from May 16–23. An announcement on the host city and venue will be made at a later date.
It will mark the first time since 2004 at Gävle, Sweden that the women’s and men’s world championships have been staged in the same city in the same year, although from 1989 through 2004, the events were held simultaneously.