Players from eight of the ten Mixed Doubles curling teams will be the first athletes of any sport into action at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The first session of round-robin play gets underway on the evening of Wednesday 2 February, a full 48 hours before the Opening Ceremony.
The curling competition will be held in the newly-renamed Ice Cube, which, as the Water Cube, was the venue for the swimming and diving competitions at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
The ten teams taking part are: Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.
13 sessions of round-robin play will take place from Wednesday 2 February to Monday 7 February.
Ranking will then be established for places one to ten. The top four teams will compete in the semi-finals (1v4 and 2v3) in the evening of Monday 7 February.
After this, the bronze medal game will be played between the losers of the semi-finals in the afternoon of Tuesday 8 February. The gold medal final between the winners of the semi-finals will take place in the evening of 8 February.
Out of the six medallists of the Olympic Games four years ago, five will compete once again in Beijing. Defending champions, Canada, will have John Morris on their team looking to defend his gold medal.
PyeongChang’s silver and bronze medallists – Swiss duo of Jenny Perret and Martin Rios and Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten – will also compete in the Chinese capital.
Meet the teams
Australia: Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt became the first Australian curlers to qualify for the Olympic Games after an undefeated campaign at the Olympic Qualification Event in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands in December 2021. They finished fourth in the 2019 World Championship.
Canada: Rachel Homan and John Morris were selected to represent Canada after the COVID-19 enforced cancellation of Canada’s qualification event. Morris partnered Kaitlyn Lawes to win the first-ever Mixed Doubles Olympic gold in PyeongChang in 2018.
Morris also won gold in men’s team curling in Vancouver in 2010. Homan is a former world champion skip in women’s team competition. Lately, Morris has coached the Australian Mixed Doubles team on their road to qualify for Beijing.
China: The host nation is represented by Fan Suyuan and Ling Zhi. The duo is a newly formed team for the Olympics with no international experience in playing together. Ling took bronze at the World Mixed Doubles Qualification Event in 2019.
Czech Republic: Zuzana Paulova and Tomas Paul – husband and wife – became the first Czech curlers to qualify for the Olympic Games when they finished seventh – the last direct qualification place – in the 2021 World Championship.
They have been playing Mixed Doubles together for almost a decade and earned a world championship bronze medal in 2013.
Great Britain: Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat are the reigning world champions. They took gold at the 2021 World Championship, representing their native Scotland.
Mouat is a two-time European champion and world silver and bronze medallist skip in the men’s competition, while Dodds is a European gold and silver medallist in women’s curling. They both will go on to play in their respective team competition in Beijing.
Italy: Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner ranked fifth in the 2021 World Championship. They are both former Youth Olympians and also European bronze medallists in the team competition. Mosaner will go on to compete in the men’s team event in Beijing.
Norway: Married couple Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten are one of the most experienced Mixed Doubles teams in the Olympic field. They took the bronze medals at the World Championship in 2015.
They went on to take bronze at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and silver at the 2021 World Championship. Nedregotten is the fifth player of the Norwegian men’s team in Beijing.
Sweden: Almida de Val and Oskar Eriksson were bronze medallists at the 2021 World Championship. Eriksson is an Olympic silver and bronze medallist, five-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion in the team event.
Both are former world junior champions. Eriksson will take part also in the men’s competition in Beijing.
Switzerland: Jenny Perret and Martin Rios were silver medallists at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, and shared fifth place with Italy in the 2021 World Championship.
Rios won world gold in 2012 and 2017. At the latter event, his partner was Perret.
United States: Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys were undefeated at the Olympic Qualification Event in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, in December 2021 to take one of two available qualification places. Plys is a former world junior and world university champion and will go on to play in the men’s team event in Beijing.
Following the Mixed Doubles medal games, the women’s and men’s team competitions will take place from Wednesday 9 February till Sunday 20 February.
The ten women’s teams are: Canada, China, Denmark, Great Britain, Korea, Japan, ROC, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.
The ten men’s teams are: Canada, China, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, ROC, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.