Canada’s young curlers throwing rocks in Estonia
Canada’s newly crowned junior curling champions took to the ice last Saturday at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia for the 2015 World Junior Curling Championships.
Kelsey Rocque, skip of the women’s team, is looking to defend her world junior title with her new line up of Danielle Schmiemann, Holly Jamieson, Jessica Iles, alternate Kristen Streifel and coach Amanda-Dawn Coderre. Rocque, third cousin of three-time world curling champion Marcel Rocque, won the 2014 World Junior Curling Championship women’s gold medal. This year, she is looking to join Eve Muirhead as the only other junior women’s skip to win back-to-back world junior championships.
After just missing the podium at last year’s world championship, the men are hoping that second time’s a charm. Back in 2014, Braden Calvert, along with Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson and coach Tom Clasper, had a heart-breaking loss to Norway in the bronze medal game. This year, the original four players are back with the added experience of 2013 world juniors bronze medallist Colton Lott at the alternate position.
The Canadian women have been dominating the competition this week, now sitting alone at the top of the scoreboard at a perfect 5-0 with wins over Czech Republic, U.S.A., Russia, Sweden and England.
The Canadian men have also been a powerful force this week with only one little blip to their record with a loss to Russia. At time of writing Canada sits at 4-1, after wins over Norway, U.S.A., Sweden and Italy.
This edition of the World Junior Curling Championships is unique, as it is the first time that the top junior curlers and figure skaters will be competing concurrently at under the same roof. The ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships 2015 will be taking over one of the rinks, as the curling competition heats up on the other ice pad.
Curling world juniors by the numbers
1.3 million – Population of Estonia (host country)
400,000 – Population of Tallinn (host city)
23,000– Amount of water in litres needed to create the pristine curling ice (on top of the hockey ice!)
6,906 – Number of kilometres from Edmonton (home of the women’s team) to Tallinn
6,773 – Number of kilometres from Winnipeg (home of the men’s team) to Tallinn
1988 – First year the World Junior women’s event was held
1975 – First year the World Junior men’s event was held
60 – Number of active curlers in Estonia
17 – Number of World Junior men’s championships Canada has won
10 – Days of competition (from Feb. 27-Mar. 8)
9 – Number of World Junior women’s championships Canada has won
7 – Months the Tondiraba Ice Hall has been open (brand new facility!)
6 – Days needed to turn hockey ice into world-class curling ice
5 – Number if players on each curling team (original four members plus an alternate)
1 – A.K.A. gold, what Canada hopes to be taking home at the end of the week!
Interested in checking out some of the curling action? The World Junior Curling Championships will be broadcast on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel.
Feature photo by WCF/Patrick Fulgencio