Athletes react to first Pan Continental

Pan Continental Curling Championships 2022 © WCF / Howard Lao

With the inaugural Pan Continental Curling Championships drawing to a close, everyone will be making up their minds about its success, or not.

We heard from the athletes to see what they think of the new format and championship.

Anton Hood: skip, New Zealand:

We love it. The opportunity to play the U.S. and Canada is a highlight really. Like last night’s game against Gushue was probably my most favourite game I’ve ever played in my life.

There’s not as much camaraderie as at the Pacific Asia, but curling-wise, it’s a lot better. We like it and we hope it stays around.

Jay Merchant; skip, Australia:

I think it’s the future.  This region has some of the strongest competitors in the business and you’re seeing it here. It beats the Pacific-Asia hands-down, I don’t ever want to go back.

We’re playing teams that we haven’t played before, so it’s all good and I’m looking forward to getting back next year.

Byeongjin Jeong; skip, Korea:

This is an opportunity to meet more teams. It is very exciting and an opportunity to meet better players.

We can learn a lot from teams like Gushue. This is definitely better than the Pacific-Asia.

Korey Dropkin; skip, United States:

I love this style of competition. It’s nice to see all the countries here, displaying all their talent. It’s awesome to see so many athletes from around the world interested in our sport and wanting to play the game, and pursue it at a world level.

Randie Shen; skip, Chinese Taipei:

I think it’s great, a great addition to the play-down process to get to the worlds. Merging the two Zones together gives other nations a chance to play the best teams in the world. It gives a chance to have the ambition to come up and also to improve. Competition-wise, I think it’s wonderful, but it felt to be less of an event. But absolutely, I think it’s the way forward.

Jeff Stoughton; Programme Director, Canada:

It’s good. When it’s something new, you’re not sure what to expect, you’re not sure how the competition is going to shake out, but we’ve seen some really good curling – we’ve seen some bad shots here and there, but it’s exciting for the international teams to get on good arena ice. We were hoping for a few more fans, but overall, the guys are excited to come here and perform. No complaints, that’s for sure.

This is a better way than the Americas Challenge for those teams to get better experience and competition.

Jennifer Westhagan; skip, Australia:

It’s awesome. We’ve had a lot of fun, we’ve learned a lot, the ice was magnificent.  It’s been such a great opportunity to play in this event, in Canada.

It’s easy to get practice ice when we come to North America, which is really important for us.

Isis Oliveira; skip, Brazil:

This competition was amazing. It was a huge learning for us, from the first day here to the last day, the team improved a lot, watching other players and learning ourselves.

Next year when we’re back, we’re coming back to win!

Angelina Ebauyer; skip, Kazakhstan:

I’m very glad to be here, and thank you to the organisers.  I think this is better because there are good teams here, and more of them.   We also have more chances to qualify for the world championship.

Calgary, Canada

6 November 2022