International curling returns to Korea with Paralympic Winter Games 2018

  • Norway's world champion skip Rune Lorentsen © WCF / Céline Stucki

International curling returns to the Republic of Korea and the Gangneung Curling Centre on Saturday 10 March as the wheelchair curling competition of the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 gets underway.

Altogether 12 teams will be taking part, for the first time in the competition's history - an increase from ten teams at previous Games.

Korea, as hosts, received an automatic entry. The remaining 11 places have been taken up by the National Paralympic Committees that gained the most qualifying points from the World Wheelchair Curling Championships held in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The Member Associations represented are (in qualification order): Russia (who will be represented by a team of Neutral Paralympic Athletes [NPA]), Norway, China, Canada, United Sates, hosts Korea, Great Britain (qualification points gained by Scotland), Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Slovakia and Sweden.

Wheelchair curling has featured in every Paralympic Winter Games since Turin, Italy in 2006. It has the same rules as team curling championships, except that each game lasts for eight ends instead of ten. In addition, there is no sweeping in wheelchair curling.

Among the competitors:

  • The Canada team, the current Paralympic champions, have three returning team members from their gold medal winning side from Sochi 2014 including current skip Mark Ideson who was alternate at those Games
  • The Great Britain team, skipped by Aileen Neilson, is based on the outfit that won Paralympic bronze medals in 2014 and world bronze medals in 2017
  • The Norway team, skipped once again by Rune Lorentsen, are the reigning world champions
  • The NPA team features four former world champions and two of the Paralympic silver medal winning team from Sochi 2014

    The competition will see teams face each other in a 17-session, three-games-a-day round-robin format that concludes on Thursday 15 March.

    After this, there will be one tie-breaker session, if needed, on Friday 16 March, followed by two semi-final games, in which the top-ranked team will face the fourth ranked team, and the second and third-ranked teams play each other. The semi-final losers will play for bronze medals on the morning of Saturday 17 March while the winners will play for gold and silver medals on the afternoon of Saturday 17 March.

    Live coverage from the event will be available on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) website - www.paralympic.org - using an Olympic Channel player.

    For the playing schedule, team information and the most up-to-date news from the competition visit www.worldcurling.org/pwg2018

    For all the curling action from the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 follow the World Curling Federation on Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) Twitter and Instagram (@worldcurling) and use the hashtags: #curling #PyeongChang2018