June 05, 2008

Continental Cup 2008

Team Europe has become Team World for this year's Continental Cup which goes ahead December 18-21 in Camrose, Alberta. The event website is here. The competition will feature six World teams (three male and three female) against six North American teams.

Previously known as Team Europe, Team World will include two squads from China for the first time. Bingyu Wang (above) skipped her women's team to a silver medal at the 2008 Ford World Women's Curling Championship in Vernon, Canada, last March while Fengchun Wang's foursome finished fourth in their international debut at the 2008 World Men's Curling Championship in Grand Forks, USA.

David Murdoch of Scotland, Thomas Ulsrud of Norway, Anette Norberg of Sweden and Mirjam Ott of Switzerland, make up the World squad.

The full press release is here.

Make sure you note who will be team captain and team coach! Paal Trulsen of Norway is the captain while Sweden's Peja Lindholm, a three-time world champion skip, will be coach.

"I am honoured and excited by this challenge," said Lindholm, who retired from competition in January. As a former player, three times, in the Continental Cup, I know how special it is and I look forward to coming back again. I know Paal really well and he knows me. We are good friends and we respect each other. We also shares the same values so I am sure our teamwork will be excellent."

Now, a personal comment from me! I've been criticised for calling it a charade (see a previous Curling Today post here). The curlers enjoy it, definitely. But what is it doing to promote curling in Europe, as I asked before? Is the WCF getting value for money for what it spends? I think it's great that it now encompasses teams from the Pacific region. But is an event like the Continental Cup the future for our sport? I remain to be convinced. If we could only get to see some of the play of what is, after all, a made-for-television event, then perhaps my opinion might change!

Top: Bingyu Wang by Hugh Stewart
Above: Two Swedish curling legends, Anette Norberg and Peja Lindholm, entertained guests at the VIP dinner at Ostersund during the World Junior Curling Championships in March. Photo by Bob.

No comments: