Lethbridge Welcomes the World: Switzerland Update
Mirjam Ott and her Davos Curling Club team of Janine Greiner, Carmen Kung and Carmen Schafer captured the 2012 Swiss Women’s title on Saturday, February 25 with a 6-5 victory over Bern’s Michele Jaggi at the Gstaad Curling Hall. Jaggi and her youthful squad of Marisa Winkelhausen, Stephanie Jaeggi and Nicole Schwagli gave the two-time Olympic silver medalist skip all she could handle in a back and forth affair that was not decided until Ott’s last rock in the tenth end.Ott helped Switzerland to European Curling Championship titles in 1996 and 2008 and to Olympic Silver status at both the ’02 Salt Lake City and ’06 Turin games. Her best finish at the World Championship was in Vernon in 2008, when she led Schafer, Greiner and Valeria Spalty to a 9-7 victory over Japan’s Moe Meguro in the bronze medal game. Her trip to Lethbridge will mark the forty-year-old Ott’s sixth appearance on the World Championship stage. Last year in Esbjerg, Denmark, Ott, Greiner, Kung and Schafer finished round-robin play with a record of 7-4. In a subsequent tie-breaker with Canada’s Amber Holland, the Swiss came up short by a score of 8-6. Switzerland won the first World Women’s Curling Championship ever contested, when Gaby Casanova led Rosie Manger, Linda Thommen and Betty Bourgiun to glory in Perth, Scotland in 1979. Four years later, Bern’s Erika Muller skipped Barbara Meyer, Barbara Meier and Christina Wirz to a second Swiss world title in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. It’s been almost 30 years, and the Swiss are still waiting for world championship number three. If the Ott team can get on a roll early in the competition, they could easily be playing when the playoffs get underway on Friday, March 23 at Lethbridge’s ENMAX Centre at the 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship.