April 1, 2014
The World Curling Federation (WCF) announced today that Canada’s Randy Ferbey, Switzerland’s Patrick Huerlimann and Norway’s Eigil Ramsfjell were inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made following at an on ice ceremony at the CPT World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 being held in Beijing, China, celebrating the achievements of Patrick Huerlimann.
“We are delighted to announce that Randy Ferbey, Patrick Huerlimann and Eigil Ramsfjell are being inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame,” said WCF President Kate Caithness. “All of these athletes have been ambassadors of our game, both on and off the ice. Their dedication to our sport has inspired generations of curlers the world over and this honour recognises their achievements.”
Huerlimann won Olympic gold in Nagano, Japan in 1998, the year in which curling was reintroduced to the Olympic Winter Games Programme.
He also picked up several World Championship medals. This included a silver medal at the 1989 World Men’s Curling Championship held in Milwaukee, USA; bronze medal in the 1996 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Hamilton, Canada, and another bronze in 1999 in Saint John, Canada.
At the 2003 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Winnipeg, Canada, Huerlimann added to his medal collection again as he won silver as a coach of the Swiss men’s team.
Off the ice, Huerlimann devoted considerable time to sports development. In addition to working closely with the Swiss Curling Association, Swiss Olympic Association and European Olympic Association (on their Athlete Commission), he was also an Executive Board Member of the World Curling Federation between 2006 and 2012, serving as Vice-President between 2010 and 2012.
After his induction, Huerlimann said: “This great news came out of the blue. I am delighted to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and very thankful to the World Curling Federation. For the past 40 years, curling has been a major part of my life on and off the ice. Curling means so much to me and I am truly honoured with this nomination and to be part of the 'Great Ones' of our much loved game."
Norway’s Eigil Ramsfjell will be inducted later in the CPT World Men’s Curling Championship 2014.
Scotland’s Peter Smith and Ramsfjell hold the record for winning the most World Men’s Curling Championship medals, which stands at nine.
During his playing career he participated in 15 World Men’s Curling Championships, winning three of them (1979, 1984, 1988) as well as picking up two silver medals (1978, 1980) and four bronze medals (1983, 1987, 1989 and 1991).
Ramsfjell also won the gold medal when curling was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Canada.
Ten years later, when curling finally returned to the Olympic programme, his team won the bronze medals in Nagano, Japan in 1998.
Ramsfjell will also be remembered for the instrumental role he played in introducing the ‘Free Guard Zone’ rule which is still used in WCF competitions today.
Speaking of his induction, Ramsfjell said: “My curling career has given me many highlights and I have been grateful for every one of those experiences. However, this recognition is truly outstanding. I am deeply honoured to be joining some of the greats of previous generations and must thank the Norwegian Curling Association for nominating me, and the World Curling Federation for inducting me into the Hall of Fame.”
Canada’s Randy Ferbey is a four-time World Men’s champion (1989, 2002, 2003, 2005) and was a silver medallist at the 1988 World Men’s Curling Championship. He was also a six-time national (Brier) champion (1988, 1989, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005).
Ferbey, along with fellow Canadian’s Ernie Richardson, Arnold Richardson, Sam Richardson and Glenn Howard, holds the record for the most number of World Men’s Curling Championships wins.
He will officially be inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015 which will take place in Halifax, Canada between 28 March and 5 April.
“This came out of nowhere for me; I’m blown away, to be honest,” said Ferbey. “I’m really appreciative to the Canadian Curling Association for their support, as well as to the World Curling Federation. I never played the game to earn accolades like this. I always considered it a team game, and I really want to share this with all the great teammates I had over the years. I could not have done it without them.”
It’s the third year the World Curling Federation has accepted nominations for induction into the Hall of Fame, which is described as “the highest ‘non-playing’ honour that the World Curling Federation can bestow. This recognises outstanding achievements and contribution to World Curling.
Prior to 2012, the WCF awarded the World Curling Freytag Award, named after the late Elmer Freytag of the U.S. Curling Association, who was a founding member of the International Curling Federation (now the WCF).