The Capital One World Men's Curling Championship gets underway on Saturday in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. Scotland is represented by the team which won the Bruadar Scottish Championship - Warwick Smith (4th), David Smith (skip), Craig Wilson (2nd) and Ross Hepburn (lead). These four curlers were our reps in Edmonton in 2007, finishing with a 4-7 record, ranked ninth. The playing order is changed this year, and the team looked strong all the way through the Scottish. Hopefully they will enjoy the worlds more this time. They are among the more experienced teams at Cortina.
In Edmonton, Ewan MacDonald was the alternate. In Cortina, David Murdoch will have that role. I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering how he will be used - just in case of injury, or to bolster the team if any of the players are not up to par. It is a long week, with eleven round robin games, and fitness plays a big role. We will see.
The event website is here. And you can download the full draw as a pdf file from here.
Team Scotland meets Norway in their first game on Saturday, their only game that day. Of course, the big question is nothing to do with the play. Rather, we are all wondering what Thomas Ulsrud and his team will be wearing! Now sponsored by Loudmouth Golf, the Norwegian team's colourful curling pants have been the story of the year! Those on the left seem to be one of the choices for Cortina! (Or perhaps not, see here)
Actually, if you go to the Norwegian team's website (here) you will note there is a news item about the filming of a comedy movie, King Curling.
King Curling is the story of a Norwegian curling champion, called Truls Paulsen. (Not an obvious link to any real curler, then!)
Truls is so into details and perfection that he develops an obsessive compulsive disorder for the game. Follow the link (to here) to see a promotion about the film, in which some of the cast try out the game. Run the video. Don't be put off by the fact it's all in Norwegian. Just watch closely for appearances by Dordy Nordby and Pal Trulsen, both wearing fancy pants! Wonderful, wonderful. The movie itself is set to come out next year.