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Fredericton to Stage 2013 World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that the City of Fredericton will host the 2013 World Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships and World Mixed Doubles.

All three world championships will take place at the new Grant-Harvey Centre, April 13-20, 2013.  Approximately 30 teams are expected to compete for global honours in Mixed Doubles while almost 40 teams will seek to capture Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s world titles.

The $29.5 million Grant-Harvey Centre, scheduled to open in June, has two ice surfaces which will be utilized during the week…one Olympic-size (500 seats) and one National Hockey League-size (1,500 seats).  The host committee executive director is 2000 Brier runner-up Wayne Tallon, with both the Fredericton Curling Club and Capital Winter Club acting as co-chairs and host clubs.

World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness said, “We are delighted to be returning to New Brunswick for two events which will run side by side in 2013 – the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and the World Senior Curling Championships.

“Following on from the success of the 2009 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Moncton, the World Curling Federation is looking forward to being able to showcase the discipline of Mixed Doubles Curling in Canada and, at the same time, offer a world class Senior Curling Championship event for curling fans to enjoy.”

It marks the first time that Canada will host the World Mixed Doubles, which began in 2008 in Vierumäki, Finland.   However, Canada has previously staged the World Seniors in 2003 in Winnipeg and 2007 in Edmonton, since the championships officially began in 2002 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with the World Curling Federation and the City of Fredericton on hosting these major world curling championships,” explained Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association.

Team Canada at the 2012 WSCC

“Canada has played host to many major curling events, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to further expose these unique world properties, in addition to the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship (in Victoria), all being staged in Canada in 2013.

“Of particular note is the World Mixed Doubles, which we hope this hosting in Fredericton will serve as an exceptional showcase to the International Olympic Committee for this discipline being a potential great addition to the Olympic platform in the future.”

“I am pleased that Fredericton will be the host city for these world curling championships in 2013.  We can’t wait to showcase the newly built Grant-Harvey Centre, which will be the venue for the games,” said Mayor Brad Woodside. “Our community embraces events like this, and I am sure that the athletes, the Canadian Curling Association and the World Curling Federation will be treated to some of the finest hospitality our hotels, restaurants, attractions, and residents have to offer.”

Fredericton has hosted a number of curling championships over the years – the 1975 Brier, 1988 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, 1965 Canadian junior men’s, 1985 Canadian Junior women’s, 2005 Canadian Juniors (men and women) and the 1980 Canadian senior women’s.

This year’s renewal of the World Seniors concluded in Kastrup, Denmark on the weekend.   Canada was represented by New Brunswick’s Heidi Hanlon and Manitoba’s Kelly Robertson.  Hanlon won a gold medal, defeating Scotland in the final to finish undefeated, while Robertson earned a silver medal, losing in an extra end to Ireland.

Canada has enjoyed tremendous success at the World Seniors, winning seven men’s and eight women’s (including the last five) titles since 2002.   Canada’s representatives at the World Seniors have been the Canadian Senior champions from the previous year.

For the 2013 World Seniors, Canada’s colours will be worn by Alberta’s Cathy King of Edmonton and Rob Armitage of Red Deer, winners of the Canadian Seniors in Abbotsford, British Columbia in March.

The 2012 World Mixed Doubles got underway today in Erzurum, Turkey.  Canada is being represented by Saskatchewan’s Dean Hicke and Chantelle Eberle.

Since the World Mixed Doubles began in 2008, Canada’s best finish has been a bronze medal by Manitoba’s Sean Grassie and Alli Nimik in Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2009.  Canada’s representatives for the World Mixed Doubles have been two members of the winning team from the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.   However, it has not yet been decided how Canada’s representatives for the 2013 World Mixed Doubles will be selected.    Switzerland has won three of the four World Mixed Doubles Championships, with Russia winning in 2010.

Both the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles are played over eight ends instead of 10 ends.   While the World Seniors competition follow the rules of traditional team curling, the Mixed Doubles format brings together one male and one female curler.  Teams have only six stones each (instead of eight) and one of those stones, from each team, is prepositioned on the centre line before each end of play.    Player one delivers the first and last stones and player two plays the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may swap positions from one end to the next.   Both team members are also allowed to sweep.