Mixed World Curling Championships draws teams and their fans to Kelowna
Brothers Kevin and Connor Wood have come all the way from Toronto to cheer on their sister, Lauren Harrison.
The two super fans from Toronto are in Kelowna for the world mixed curling championship.
“Curling is one of Canada’s games,” said Connor Wood.
Curling may not be officially Canada’s game, like hockey and lacrosse, but it is a national pastime, which is the reason why the Woods have come halfway across the country.
“It’s awesome, we’re so proud of her,” said Connor Wood.
And so they should be. Team Canada and skip Michael Anderson are 4-1 so far, including a 10-1 victory today over New Zealand in six ends.
“We’re just four really good friends,” Team Canada lead Lauren Harrison said of her teammates. “We get along. Really, we all love curling.”
Harrison is happy to have all the brotherly love and support.
“They’re the best brothers I could ask for and I feel very lucky to have them here,” said Harrison.
Thirty-five countries from around the globe are in Kelowna for the tournament: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, the United States and Wales.
The week-long event began Saturday, October 13th, and runs until Saturday, October 20th.
Canada is in Pool D, along with Austria, Hungary, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, Slovenia and Slovakia. Generally, Canada will play just once a day, with playoffs taking place on Friday and Saturday.
“This is the first time the mixed championship has been outside of Europe, so it’s big deal,” said Scott Arnold of the World Curling Federation.
In terms of the quality of curling you’ll see at the championship, the only hacks are the ones underfoot.
“We have multiple world champions here, we have Olympians here,” said Arnold. “This is as good as you get.”
As for the mixed aspect of the game, the fans seem to love it.
“The mixed sport adds a different element to the game,” said Connor Wood.
Harrison said “The women are ‘Let’s talk it out lets figure it out. How are you feeling about the shot?’ And the men bring an intensity, really, really good strategy.”
The best of both curling worlds at the mixed curling worlds, all week in Kelowna.