In 2009 I travelled to Riga with the Reform CC Touring Club and had the most wonderful time in the Latvian capital. We enjoyed fabulous hospitality, and made many friends. We curled on one of the two rinks in the Volvo Sports Centre. Happy times, indeed. If you look back in the blog archive to October 2009 you can see photos from our trip in two or three posts then.
Why mention this today? Because I've just heard the news that the World Curling Federation has announced that Riga is to host the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship. The event will take place from March 16-24, 2013, at the Volvo Sports Centre.
There are just 150 registered curlers in Latvia. They will be delighted I'm sure that the World Women's Championship is coming to their country. I'm delighted for them!
Here's a quote from the official press release which you can read in its entirety here.
“On behalf of the Latvian Curling Association and the whole of the Latvian curling community, I would like to thank the World Curling Federation for choosing Riga as the host of the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship” said Janis Rudzitis, President of Latvian Curling Association. “It is a great honour for Latvian curling and an acknowledgment of the progress that the sport has made in our country. In the short history of Latvian curling there have already been many highlights and we will work hard, as a collective, to make the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship a distinguished event in the world curling calendar. We would like to invite everyone, for whom curling is more than just a sport, to come to Latvia in 2013 and see the best national women’s teams in the world play as well as visit our unique and beautiful capital city Riga and sample Latvian hospitality.”
I like the words Janis uses... 'for whom curling is more than just a sport'! Yes indeed, for many of us the sport of curling IS very special and making friends from other countries and from other cultures is very much part of that.
But just a caution. Two important words about this Latvian hospitality that Janis mentions. BLACK BALSAM. You have been warned!
The 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will take place March 17-25 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Top photo © Skip Cottage