Historic season leads to Olympic selection for Russia’s women’s team

  • Alexandra Raeva and Nkeiruka Ezekh at the CPT Worlds in Beijing Photo: © WCF / Céline Stucki

We move onto our fourth Member Association to compete at the Olympic Winter Games in Gangneung, in the Republic of Korea, in February 2018.

This week we meet the Russian women’s team lead by skip Anna Sidorova and made up of third and vice-skip Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Raeva, lead Nkeiruka Ezekh and alternate Alina Kovaleva.

This team earned their selection for the Games after winning Russia’s first ever silver medal at a World Curling Championship, which they achieved in March 2017, in Beijing, China.

Russia will also compete at the Olympic Winter Games in the mixed doubles tournament and their men’s team still have a chance to qualify at the Olympic Qualification Event, in December.

PyeongChang 2018 will be a third Olympic Winter Games for Sidorova, Fomina and Ezekh, having competed at Vancouver 2010 and on home ice at Sochi 2014. For Raeva it’s her second Games and for Kovaleva it will be her debut.

In this week’s feature, we speak to skip Sidorova and second Raeva…

Anna Sidorova and Alexandra Raeva: @_Team_Sidorova_

Q What music do you listen to prior to events?

Alexandra: Music from Anna's playlist. She is our team's DJ!
Anna: The ones which I feel inspire us as a team. At the moment, it’s anything rhythmic or popular.

Q What is your guilty pleasure?

Anna: My mom’s dock soup!

Q Where's the best place you have visited as a curler?

Anna: Luzern, Switzerland or Oakville, Canada.
Alexandra: Niagara Falls.

Q What career would you have if you weren't a curler?

Alexandra: Economist
Anna: I would have been a figure skater or a TV host.
Q Who is the joker of the team?
Both: Alina Kovaleva [pictured below, middle-left, © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik]

Q What do you do in your spare time to relax?

Alexandra: I like to read and do walking tours.
Anna: I like visiting my parents, I like to pet my cat, drive my car and sleep.

Q Greatest achievement as a rink?

Alexandra: Silver medallist at the Women’s World Championships in 2017.
Anna: I agree, being runner-up at this year’s Women’s World Championships.

In the run-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea we celebrate the success of the curling qualifiers heading to the Games in (8-25) February and (9-18) March.

In the coming weeks and months, we will speak to the athletes that have been selected or qualified to represent their Member Association in the Gangneung Curling Centre.

To follow the build-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #Roadto2018 #curling

by Michael Houston, feature writer