UNITED STATES AND SCOTLAND CELEBRATE CURLING AHEAD OF OLYMPICS CLASH
Ahead of Friday’s highly anticipated men’s curling match at the Winter Olympics between defending gold medalists Team USA and the world’s current number one ranked side Team Mouat, representing Team GB at the Games, America’s most senior diplomat in Scotland took to the ice to play some ends with the president of Scottish Curling to celebrate the game’s Scottish roots, Stateside growth, the friendship and budding rivalry between the two top teams.
United States Consul General Jack Hillmeyer met with Scottish Curling President – and former Scottish curling international – Susan Kesley at Curl Edinburgh to discuss the shared love of the sport by players on both sides of the Atlantic. Susan and Jack took a deep dive into the game’s rules, equipment, and techniques before taking to the ice themselves to experience curling firsthand.
The U.S. men’s team skipped by John Shuster shocked the curling world by winning a surprise gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, America’s first ever gold in the sport. The victory helped drive a significant increase in curling participation in the United States, with around 200 curling clubs and 25,000 players now across the country. Scottish Curling is finding high levels of interest in its campaign at www.trycurling.com with new fans coming to the sport after being inspired by our teams at this Olympic Games.
An inherently Scottish game – the Scots invented curling in the early 16th century – the curling infrastructure in Scotland is well-developed and Scottish athletes are an established part of the world stage, be it as Team GB at the Olympics and Paralympics or as Team Scotland at other international competitions. The rink skipped by Edinburgh’s Bruce Mouat is currently the world’s top-ranked team and represents Great Britain at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Commenting after the event, Jack said:
“Americans have a deep and abiding affection for Scotland, and we share close economic, cultural and, of course, sporting connections. Although curling has enjoyed a strong profile in the United States of America following Team USA’s Olympic success in 2018, I am still a newcomer to the sport myself and therefore greatly appreciated learning the ropes from Susan and hearing her perspective on the sport’s history and growth. My message to both sides for their Olympic encounter is: ‘may the best team win!’”
“It was lovely to meet Jack and have some time on the ice with him. With Scotland being the traditional home of curling and the USA being one of the fastest growing curling nations, it is apt that we got together the celebrate the relations between our two nations over the upcoming game at the home rink of the Scottish Skip, Bruce Mouat. My message to both teams before the game is ‘Play well, good luck and good curling’. I’m looking forward to cheering you on and another sleepless night.”
The men’s teams will meet in the third Round Robin session on Friday morning, 9:05 Beijing time (01:05 GMT). There are 12 Round Robin sessions in total, with the top four teams progressing to a one-off semi-final match before the games for Bronze and Gold respectively.