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SOCHI 2014

Curling

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PREVIEW

The U.S. men’s and women’s curling teams entered the 2012-13 season thirsty for success and looking to both reach the podium at the world championships and earn a chance to compete at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The women’s team was ranked fifth in the qualifying standings at the end of 2012, and is poised to earn an Olympic berth with a good showing at the 2013 Women’s World Championship in Riga, Latvia. The men’s team will need a top-eight finish at the 2013 Men’s World Championship in Victoria, British Columbia, to seal a direct berth; otherwise the U.S. men will be relegated to qualifying at the WCF Olympic Qualifying Event in December.

The U.S. women will be looking to make their first world championship podium appearance since 2006, while the men are hoping to return to the medal stand for the first time since 2007. The teams vying for berths to the Sochi Games will be determined at the 2013 USA Curling National Championships in February in Green Bay, Wis.

The curling competition for the Sochi Games will feature 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams. The teams will play in a nine-game round robin tournament, followed by a playoff format for the semifinal and medal rounds.

The competition will be contested at the 3,000-seat Ice Cube Curling Center, located in the Coastal Cluster within the Olympic Park.

The U.S. curling team is looking to win its first Olympic medal since 2006, when Pete Fenson’s team captured the bronze – the first medal for Team USA in program history. Fenson’s team has already qualified for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and is considered a favorite to represent Team USA in Sochi.

QUALIFICATION

Nations earn berths to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games based on total points accumulated at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. At the conclusion of the 2013 event in April, the top-eight countries (men’s and women’s) earn an automatic qualifying spot to the Olympic Games. Two additional teams (men’s and women’s) will get a second chance to earn an Olympic berth at the WCF Olympic Qualifying Event in December, bringing the total field to 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams for the Sochi Games.

SELECTION

The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling will take place Nov. 10-17 in Fargo, N.D. Four women’s teams and up to five men’s teams will compete for a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. The final slate of hopefuls will be announced by May 2013.

KEY DATES


Feb. 9-16 USA Curling National Championships Green Bay, Wis.
March 16-24 Women’s World Championship Riga, Latvia
March 30-April 7 Men’s World Championship Victoria, British Columbia
Nov. 10-17 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Fargo, N.D.
Dec. 10-13 Olympic Qualifying Event TBD
Jan. 16-19 Continental Cup Las Vegas, Nev.