Competing nations confirmed for expanded Youth Olympic Games curling
The World Curling Federation can confirm the 24 National Olympic Committees that will compete in curling – from 10 to 22 January 2020 – at next season’s winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020, in Switzerland.
Switzerland qualify as the host nation, meanwhile, Germany, return having competed in 2012, but not at 2016’s Games – they secured a European berth based on their results in the World Junior and Junior-B Curling Championships in 2018 and 2019.
From the World Curling Federation’s Junior Ranking system, making their Youth Olympic Games debuts are Denmark, France, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Spain.
Canada return as the defending champion nation, for the curling competition that gets underway on Friday 10 January. The official opening of theYouth Olympic Games will be on Thursday 9 January.
The competing nations are Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United States.
This is curling’s biggest field in the Youth Olympic Games, which is for athletes aged 15 to 18, to date.
In a move from the 16 National Olympic Committees that competed in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012 and Lillehammer, Norway in 2016, a total of 96 athletes – with equal numbers of women and men – from 24 National Olympic Committees will be competing for curling and Youth Olympic glory next January.
World Curling Federation President, Kate Caithness, said: “The increased number of teams participating in the Youth Olympic Games offers our Member Associations and their athletes the chance to compete and experience the thrills and demands of an elite multi-sport Olympic event with world-class curling facilities.”
Though the host city is Lausanne, curling will be played in Champéry at the Palladium de Champéry, which has held numerous international curling events in the past, including, most recently, the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017.
At the Games, curling will have two medal events, first for 24 mixed teams – consisting of two female and two male athletes and no alternates – followed by a combined National Olympic Committee mixed doubles event, with 48 teams.
The combined National Olympic Committee mixed doubles competition, unique to the Youth Olympic Games, has become an endearing part of the programme. It promotes the Olympic values of “Respect, Friendship and Excellence” by pairing athletes, from different nations, together to compete for Olympic medals in curling’s newest Olympic discipline, mixed doubles.
You can follow the build up for curling at the Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and by searching the hashtags #Lausanne2020 #curling