This year, the one year to go countdown until the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games holds more weight than ever before. Typically, this is a milestone for athletes to celebrate how far they’ve come in their training, nearing their lifelong goal of competing for an Olympic medal. For the rest of the world, we look forward to the few weeks every quadrennial where we witness remarkable moments of strength, resilience and teamwork.
Right now, the Beijing 2022 Games can be seen as a bright light at the end of a long, dark, and challenging tunnel. Our World Curling family has experienced great loss during the last twelve months, as has the global sporting community at large.
There’s no denying the ongoing challenges athletes are facing in order to prepare for this Olympics. But there is one certainty; these Games provide hope and optimism during a time when our days are anything but normal.
As curlers, we are resilient. Curlers are able to adapt, change their game plan, and work with what they’ve got. Throughout the year we’ve seen curlers do what they can to stay connected to the sport, even if it means not playing for months at a time.
World Curling Federation President, Kate Caithness said: “This time next year, we’ll witness a talented group of extremely hard working, dedicated and passionate Olympians take to the ice. We are delighted to finally see the start of the qualification process towards Beijing with the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship next month, followed by both the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship and the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in April.
“Currently, we are unable to host our test events for the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing. However, we are hopeful that come the autumn, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship will take place in the Ice Cube where our Paralympic curlers will qualify for the Games.”
Road map to 2022
The Road to 2022 will look different than any other Olympic Qualification process. The first opportunity to earn Olympic Qualification Points was lost when the 2020 editions of the championships were cancelled. This year, it means the tension will be even higher during the World Women’s Curling Championship 2021 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the BKT Tires & Ok Tire World Men’s Curling Championship 2021 in Calgary, Canada, and the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021.
With China already having a secured spot as hosts, there will be six additional National Olympic Committees who receive places in Beijing. These will be the top six finishers at this year’s world women’s and men’s championships. Three or four additional teams (depending on if China finish within the top six at the world championships) will get to the Games via the Olympic Qualification Event in December 2021.
In mixed doubles event, the seven highest ranked National Olympic Committees from the World Mixed Doubles Championship 2021 will qualify for Beijing. If China happens to finish within the top seven teams, the eighth-place team will qualify — China automatically qualify as hosts. In addition, during the Mixed Doubles Olympic Qualification Event, two further teams will qualify for Beijing to round out the field.
For more details on the qualification process towards the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games visit here.