The lineups have now been confirmed for the 2012 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Monsanto.
The eighth edition of this unique international curling competition takes place January 12-15 at the Langley Events Centre. It’s the second time the event has been staged in British Columbia, following Chilliwack in 2006. The ‘Cup’ features six teams from North America versus six teams representing The World in various disciplines during the four days – Team games, Mixed Doubles, Singles, Mixed Skins and Skins games.
Each segment awards points for wins (or ties), with the first side to reach 201 points declared the winner. Currently, North America holds a 4-3 edge over Team World since the inaugural Continental Cup was contested in 2002 in Regina.
The winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side which wins the final Men’s Skins game will receive an additional $13,000.
Team North America will be represented by four teams from Canada – skipped by Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, Coldwater’s Glenn Howard, Amber Holland of Kronau, Saskatchewan and Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon and two teams from the United States – skipped by Pete Fenson of Bemidji, Minnesota and Patti Lank of Lewiston, New York.
The captain will be former world champion Julie Skinner of Victoria, British Columbia while three-time Brier and two-time world champion Rick Lang of Thunder Bay will return as coach.
Stoughton, a three-time Brier winner, is the reigning world champion, winning his second such title when capturing the 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Regina, while Howard, a three-time Brier and world champion, won last year’s Canada Cup in Medicine Hat to qualify for the World Financial Group Continental Cup.
Lawton also won last year’s Canada Cup while Holland took the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Charlottetown, then earned a silver medal at the Capital One World Women’s in Esbjerg, Denmark. Fenson, the 2006 Olympic bronze medallist, and Lank, a former world silver medallist, are the reigning US national champions.
Team World’s colours will be worn by teams skipped by Sweden’s Niklas Edin of Karlstad, Scotland’s Tom Brewster of Aberdeen, Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud of Oslo, Sweden’s Anette Norberg of Härnösand, China’s Bingyu Wang of Harbin and Scotland’s Eve Muirhead of Dunkeld.
The captain for Team World will be Scotland’s David Hay, another former world champion, while Sweden’s Peja Lindholm, a three-time world champion, returns as coach.
Ulsrud is the reigning European champion who earned a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics, losing the final to Canada’s Kevin Martin, while Brewster and Edin collected silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2011 Ford World Men’s.
Norberg, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, won her third world title last season in Denmark. She’s also a three-time Continental Cup winner. Bingyu Wang, the 2009 world champion, was also a bronze medallist at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2011 Capital One World Women’s while Muirhead, the 2010 Ford World Women’s silver medallist, is a four-time and current world junior champion.
TSN, the exclusive television network for the CCA’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the event, which is being sponsored for the second consecutive year by World Financial Group.
At the inaugural Cup in Regina in 2002, Team North America pulled out an incredible last rock victory when Canada’s Kevin Martin defeated Sweden’s Peja Lindholm in the final men’s Skins game to win 207-193.
In 2003, Team World (then Team Europe) turned the tables with a 208-179 victory in Thunder Bay. In 2004 in Medicine Hat, before a record four-day crowd of 42,317, it was North America’s turn again, notching a 228-172 win.
The 2006 renewal in Chilliwack featured all of the medal-winning teams from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy, as Team Europe pulled even with a 229-171 victory. In 2007, the Cup returned to Medicine Hat, and once again, North America prevailed, 290-110, this time clinching the Cup in record fashion on Saturday evening, prior to Sunday’s final women’s and men’s Skins games.
The 2008 Continental Cup was contested in Camrose, Alberta and won by Team World, 208-192, which evened the series at three victories apiece, as each side continued to prevail in alternate years. Last season, in St. Albert, Alberta, the trend continued as North America romped to a record 298-102
In 2005 and 2009, there were no Continental Cups because of the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, which qualified Canada’s teams for the Olympic Winter Games.
Event Passes with guaranteed seating are now on sale. Call 1-855-532-8497 or go online to http://www.curling.ca/championships/continentalcup/tickets.
The World Financial Group Continental Cup, which was staged for the first time in mid-January this past season, after previously being conducted in late November/early December, is a joint venture of the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and United States Curling Association.
2012 WORLD FINANCIAL GROUP CONTINENTAL CUP
presented by Monsanto
Thomas Ulsrud* (NOR)
Håvard Vad Petersson*
Tom Brewster (SCO)
Niklas Edin* (SWE)
Bingyu Wang* (CHN)
Eve Muirhead (SCO)
Anette Norberg*** (SWE)
Captain – David Hay (SCO)
Coach – Peja Lindholm** (SWE)
TEAM NORTH AMERICA
Glenn Howard* (CAN)
Jeff Stoughton (CAN)
Pete Fenson* (USA)
Amber Holland (CAN)
Stefanie Lawton (CAN)
Patti Lank** (USA)
Captain – Julie Skinner* (CAN)
Coach – Rick Lang* (CAN)
*one-time Cup winner
**two-time Cup winner
***three-time Cup winner
(as player and/or captain/coach)