Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ice Rink for London Olympics

I nearly missed this news about next year's Olympic Games in London. The organisers of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, 2014, will have a presence in London during the Summer Games in 2012. These plans include an ice rink! This will be constructed near Marble Arch, opposite Hyde Park. The artist's impression above is on a number of websites.

It is planned that Russian figure skaters will give master classes for young British skaters. In addition, British figure skaters will be invited to participate in the Sochi World ice shows, see here.

Now I wonder if anyone has thought to put on a curling demonstration at some point?

Talking about Sochi, it is now less than 1000 days to the Olympic and Paralympic events. I note that construction of the curling venue is well underway. That's it above, the photo taken from the Sochi 2014 Facebook page. As part of the 'coastal cluster', the Sochi Curling Centre is within walking distance of other venues, hosting the skating, ice hockey, speedskating and short track events.

The 3000-seat Sochi curling facility has been designed so it can be dismantled and transported for post-Games use as a curling center in another Russian city. It should be open next year, 2012, and the first international events, as tests of the venue, will be the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in February 2013, with the World Junior Curling Championship the following month.

So, is it too early to predict who might be representing GB in Sochi in 2014? It is very likely that some of the curlers who have been named to the various performance squads in recent months (see here) will be selected for the GB teams, in some combination or other, for the Olympics and Paralympics. But - if past experience is anything to go by - a lot can happen even in the months before the games. And there are still two full seasons of curling before we get to the Olympic season. Dave Crosbee is the Performance Director. To him falls the difficult decisions. An example? Warwick Smith was listed as playing with David Murdoch next season. But Warwick, for family reasons, has decided to step back from international competition this year. Ross Paterson will take his place in Team Murdoch, joining Glen Muirhead and Richard Woods.

Warwick still remains committed to trying for selection for Sochi 2014, and Dave Crosbee confirms that the programme will continue to support him during this period.

Steven Mitchell is now moving to Team Logan Gray, to replace Ross, and becomes a new member of the Performance Squad.

I note that Dave Crosbee has already been to see progress at Sochi, as part of a BOA delegation, see here.

Ross Paterson, who gets the call to play for Team Murdoch this coming season. Photo © Skip Cottage.