US team heads to China
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2014
2014 Men's World Championship begins Saturday in Beijing
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Eight-time national champion Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) is once again set to lead Team USA as the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship gets underway this weekend in China.
This will be the eighth appearance at the world championship for Fenson, 46, who led Team USA to its first ever Olympic medal in 2006 when the Americans won bronze. He won two bronze medals as vice skip in 1994 and 1993. Joining Fenson at the 2014 Men's World Championship at the Capital Gymnasium in Beijing will be fellow Olympic bronze medalists Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.) and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) as well as 2011 national champion Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.). The team has added 2014 Olympian Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.) as the team's alternate for the championship. They are coached by Al Hackner (Thunder Bay, Ontario) and Derek Brown (Scotland).
The U.S. will compete in a round robin against Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. The first U.S. game will be at 2 p.m. Saturday against Jiri Snitil's Czech rink. The field features five teams that competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games (China, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Russia).
Two USA round robin games will be streamed live via NBC Universal Sports at http://universalsports.com/watch-live/ and also at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV. In addition, the semifinal and medal games will be streamed on Universal. In addition, Universal Sports will air on TV the same schedule as its webstream.
After the round robin concludes, the top four teams will advance to the Page playoffs on April 4. In the Page playoff format, the top two ranked teams face off in the Page 1-2 game with the winner advancing to the final and the loser playing the winner of the game between the teams ranked third and fourth in a single semifinal. The winner of the semifinal becomes the other contender for the gold medal on April 6. The loser of the semifinal plays the loser of the Page 3-4 game for the bronze medal.
2014 marks the seventh world championship appearance for Rojeski, 41, who also competed in two world junior championships for the U.S. This is the fifth appearance for Polo, 31, and second for Brunt, 28. The last time the U.S. men won a world championship title was in 1978. The last world championship medal for the Americans was in 2007 (bronze). The last time a U.S. team made the playoffs was in 2010 when Fenson's team finished fourth in Cortina, Italy.
This is the first time China will host a world curling championship and also marks the third time Asia will host a world championship (2007 women's in Aomori, Japan, and 2009 women's in Gangneung, South Korea).
Here is a look at Team USA's round robin schedule (all times listed as CST, China Standard Time):
* Saturday, March 29: USA v. Czech Republic, 2 p.m.; USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
* Sunday, March 30: USA v. Russia, 2 p.m.
* Monday, March 31: USA v. Japan, 9 a.m.; USA v. Germany, 2 p.m.
* Tuesday, April 1: USA v. Scotland, 9 a.m.; USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.*
* Wednesday, April 2: USA v. China, 2 p.m.*; USA v. Denmark, 7 p.m.
* Thursday, April 3: USA v. Norway, 9 a.m.; USA v. Switzerland, 7 p.m.
* Friday, April 4: Tiebreaker games (9 a.m., 2 p.m.); Page playoff, 7 p.m.
* Saturday, April 5: Page playoff, 11 a.m.; 4 p.m., semifinal*
* Sunday, April 6: Bronze-medal game, 10 a.m.*; Gold-medal game, 3 p.m.*
*webstreamed on NBC Universal Sports
2018 Olympic qualification:
In addition, the 2014 World Curling Championships mark the start of a new qualification period for the next Olympic Winter Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
All WCF member associations competing in Saint John and at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship in Beijing later this month will be eligible to enter the next WCF Olympic Qualification Event, which is scheduled to take place in December 2017 should they not make it to the 2018 Olympic Games on direct qualification.
TV & webstream:
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Saint John. WCF broadcast partners for the event include TV4 in Sweden, Russia 2 in Russia, CCTV in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA (http://universalsports.com/watch-live/), SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec).
In addition, selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events will be available via the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV.
Event information links:
Facebook, USA Curling: https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011
Facebook, event: https://www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship
Twitter Hashtags: #wmcc2014 #curling
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, press officer, Team USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-719-207-5083 (RUS mobile) or 608-338-9900 (U.S. mobile).