New members to be inducted into World Curling Hall of Fame

  • Photos: © WCF / Archive - Richard Gray - Michael Burns

Elmer Freytag, a founding member of the International Curling Federation - now the World Curling Federation - will be inducted to the World Curling Hall of Fame (formerly the World Curling Freytag Award) along with two other highly deserving candidates - Korea's Young C. Kim, who co-founded the Korean Curling Federation and Canada's 2010 Olympic gold medallist Kevin Martin.

Freytag, posthumously, and Kim will be inducted as builders, while Martin will be entered as a curler. Kim will receive his Hall of Fame award at a special ceremony at the upcoming curling event at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in the Republic of Korea. Arrangements for Freytag and Martin's inductions will be made for later in the 2017-2018 season.

World Curling Federation President, Kate Caithness, said: "Once again in 2018, we will induct more of curling's finest servants of the game. Elmer Freytag, Young C. Kim and Kevin Martin are names synonymous with the sport of curling and the good health it finds itself in today.

"Each of them has brought their passion, drive and unique personality to our sport in very different ways and I thank them sincerely for that.

"For Young C. Kim, to receive this award at the Olympic Winter Games in his home country will be an extra special moment because without the Korean Curling Federation's membership to the WCF curling may not have been reintroduced to the Games when it was."

Young C. Kim founded the Korean Curling Club in 1988 after some encouragement from the then World Curling President Gunther Hummelt, who was seeking new Members Associations in Asia to support a bid for curling's reintroduction to the Olympic Winter Games programme.

Kim would fly in instructors to help get the sport up and running in the early days and in 1994 the Korean Curling Federation joined the World Curling Federation.

Kim was on the World Curling Federation Board from 2008 to 2014 and is serving as a special advisor to the World Curling Federation for the PyeongChang Games. Kim was also an advisor to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2010 and 2014 bids and is a recipient of the Korean Government Medal for excellent trading in business.

Elmer Freytag, was one of the founding members of the International Curling Federation and drafted its original Constitution. He also founded the Chicago Curling Club and was on the advisory board for the Scotch Cup and Air Canada Silver Broom - now the World Men's Curling Championship.

Freytag served as a representative to the International Curling Federation for the U.S. Men's Curling Association, which is now the United States Curling Association, from 1966 up until his death in 1976. The Elmer Freytag Award was introduced after his death in 1978 and is now known as the World Curling Hall of Fame.

Finally, Kevin Martin, is one of the world's most recognisable curlers. An Olympic gold medallist in Vancouver 2010, he was the first Canadian curler to represent Canada at more than one Olympic Winter Games. Martin also competed at the 1992 Albertville, France Olympics where curling was a demonstration sport and at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, where he took home the silver medal.

He also has a World Men's Curling Championship title to his name, from Grand Forks, United States in 2008 and World Men's silver medals from Moncton, Canada in 2009 and Winnipeg, Canada in 1991. Martin won silver at the World Junior Curling Championship in Dartmouth, Canada in 1986. Also, in this impressive tally he won 18 grand slam titles during his career.

Resby Coutts, Chair of the Curling Canada Board of Governors, in nominating Martin for the Hall of Fame, said: "In a high-performance playing career that spanned three decades, Kevin won every event imaginable, and did it with a flair and style that thrilled fans around the world."

The World Curling Hall of Fame award is described as the highest 'non-playing' honour that the World Curling Federation can bestow. It recognises outstanding achievements and contribution to World Curling.

Prior to 2012, the World Curling Federation awarded the World Curling Freytag Award, named after the late Elmer Freytag.

For more information on the World Curling Hall of Fame, go to: www.worldcurling.org/world-curling-hall-of-fame

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