VIDEO: Estonian Prime Minister sees bright future for curling

  • Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas delivers opening stone © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, gave the Le Gruyère AOP European Championships 2018 in Tallinn the best possible send-off by delivering an impressive draw to the button with the ceremonial first stone, during the opening ceremony, of the event.

Ratas was assisted by sweepers Harri Lill and Marie Turmann from the Estonian national teams, and the Estonia Curling Association President, and fellow member of parliament, Rainer Vakra who held the brush in the house.

There was then a spectacular light-show that covered the ice of the Tondiraba Ice Hall in light, colour and shade.

The Prime Minister’s presence in itself was a clear indication of how important the staging of this event is for his country. Speaking to World Curling after the ceremony it was clear he was enthusiastic about both the championships and curling itself.

He explained: “This year is very special in Estonia – we’re celebrating our one hundred year anniversary, and I’d like to say we’re very grateful that the European championships are taking place here in Tallinn during 2018.”

“I would like to welcome all 46 teams here. We are very thankful to the World Curling Federation and also to the Estonian Curling Association and the organising committee.”

Giving recognition to how far Estonian curling has come in its short history, he made a particular point of saying: “I am delighted to see that our local Association is so strong that we can stage events like this.”

He also set out a challenge for his teams and an ambition for curling in his country. He said: “I would love to see our teams in the A-Division in future and I really hope that more and more of our men and women, boys and girls, will become active in curling – a wonderful and great sport.”

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media in the build the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #ECC2018 #curling