New spin on curling plans to stick it out in Manitoba after Olympic debut
Winnipegger Kaitlyn Lawes and Winnipeg-born John Morris slid into first and took the first ever gold in mixed doubles curling at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
While the gold medals won on Tuesday weren’t the catalyst for the new take on curling, needing two players instead of four, curling enthusiasts believe it’ll be the push to keep the sport vibrant and alive in not only Manitoba, but Canada as a whole.
“Now that it’s another discipline in the Olympics, I think you’ll definitely see an increase in interest from youth,” Jill Officer, 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist, said.
The new spin on the event debuted at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and was swept away by two Canadians. That’s something, Pam Kok from the St. Vital Curling Club said will be the push the sport needs in the province.
“It inspires other people and other clubs as well to reach their potential,” Kok said.
Curl Manitoba said mixed doubles curling may sound new, but it’s actually been in Manitoba for at least the last six years and much longer in other parts of the world.
“Canada was a little bit of a late starter and a late bloomer in the mixed doubles world,” Officer said.
Curl Manitoba said 11 mixed doubles teams were in the provincial competition last year, but this year the number has more than doubled to 27 mixed doubles teams.
“It’s a lot faster pace and there’s a lot more going on. They’re faster games and they don’t take as long and there’s a lot more rocks in play,” Officer said.
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