Warren Hansen inducted into WCF Hall of Fame

  • WCF President Kate Caithness inducts Warren Hansen into the Hall of Fame Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Canada’s Warren Hansen, 73, has been inducted into the World Curling Federation’s Hall of Fame today (Friday 8 April) after a special presentation at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.

Hansen has made influential contributions to the development of curling for more than 50 years, since discovering the sport at a high school bonspiel on an airbase just outside of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1958.

His contributions have been multi-faceted, from developing many of the umpiring procedures in use today as well as establishing coaching, officiating and ice making guides. Many of the marketing and design features – four sheets of ice for championships and events held in large ice-hockey arenas – of national and international competitions that make up the spectacle that we know and love today can be attributed to Hansen.

As well as playing a significant role in developing Curling Canada’s Canada Cup and Continental Cup he worked hand-in-hand with Calgary’s Ray Kingsmith in producing and presenting the proposal to the 1988 Winter Olympic Committee that resulted in curling being accepted as a demonstration sport in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, and which amongst other initiatives eventually saw curling become a full medal sport in 1998.

“It is my great pleasure to announce Warren Hansen’s induction into the World Curling Hall of Fame,” said WCF President Kate Caithness. “His total dedication to the development of our sport, in Canada and worldwide, is one reason curling is in such good health today. Many of the major milestones we have reached in our sport, such as curling joining the Olympic Movement, Warren, somewhere along the way, has been involved.”

Hansen said: “To be inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame is the greatest honour that could ever be bestowed upon anyone in the curling world. I'm extremely proud to stand beside the other 15 Canadians who were previously inducted.”

“We couldn’t be happier for Warren, because what he’s done for the sport of curling, not just in Canada but around the world, simply can’t be overstated,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “Warren has devoted his life to curling, and we constantly see the fruits of labour as our sport continues to grow in popularity, both with fans and participants.”

Members of the World Curling Federation Hall of Fame are inducted either as ‘curlers’ or ‘builders’. A ‘builder’, the category which Hansen is inducted under, is someone who has given distinguished service and has made a major contribution to the development and advancement of curling internationally.
 
Hansen is one of three inductees to the World Curling Federation Hall of Fame this season. Elisabeth Högström of Sweden will be inducted, as a 'curler', later this month at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Karlstad, Sweden, while Franco Zumofen of Italy will be inducted, as a 'builder', at the summer bonspiel in Cortina, Italy.
 
This is the fifth 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).
 
For more information on the World Curling Hall of Fame, go to: www.worldcurling.org/world-curling-hall-of-fame