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Category: Curling

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Winter Olympics day 14 – in pictures

Devoted fans, beauty on ice, highs and lows: all the latest pictures from the Winter Olympics in PyeongchangSee the best photography from previous days Continue reading…

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Winter Olympics day 13 – in pictures

Max air, troublesome equipment and a happy family: all the latest pictures from the Winter Olympics in PyeongchangSee the best photography from previous days Continue reading…

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British men left to rue disastrous ninth end as Swiss curlers advance

Switzerland score five points at death to win 9-5‘We deserved a better destiny than this,’ says GB coach The British men’s team’s hopes of a surprise Olympic curling medal unravelled in spectacular fashion after a disastrous ninth end led to them losin…

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Eve Muirhead stuns Canada to steer GB women into curling semi-finals

• Muirhead scores two points on final end in 6-5 defeat of favourites• GB men face play-off against Switzerland for semi-final spotBritain’s women curling team are within touching distance of a Winter Olympics medal after beating the favourites Canada …

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Garlic Girls: South Korean curling team ward off more seasoned rivals

Five women have become internet sensations with their unlikely progression to Winter Olympic semi-finals in Pyeongchang Latest medal table | Full event scheduleIn name only are the Garlic Girls about food. There’s Yogurt, Pancake, Steak, Cookie and Sun…

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Russia opens criminal investigation over Winter Olympics drug test failure

• Curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for meldonium• Positive test sparks more debate about Russian athletes at GamesA criminal investigation has been opened by Russia into the circumstances which resulted in the medal-winning curler Alexand…

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‘Robbed of moment of glory’: Norwegian curlers want special medal ceremony

Magnus Nedregotten and Kristin Skaslien came fourthPair may yet win bronze after Russian’s doping chargeThe Norwegian curlers who missed out on a bronze medal due to Russian doping want Winter Olympics organisers to hold a new podium ceremony for them …

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Why one tiny Scottish island is key to every Olympic curling stone – video

All the curling stones being used at the Pyeongchang Winter Games are made from granite mined from the tiny, uninhabited island of Ailsa Craig, in the outer Firth of Clyde. The granite is worked into the final stones by staff at Kays Curling in Mauchli…

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IOC responds after Russian athlete charged with doping offence – video

IOC President’s Spokesman Mark Adams expressed his disappointment after Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium. Adams backed the IOC’s process of selecting athletes from Russia, saying doping cases wou…

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Russian curler banished from Winter Olympics after failed drug test

Alexander Krushelnitsky tests positive for meldoniumSet to be stripped of mixed curling bronze, won with wifeThe Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky has been formally charged with a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after testing …

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Norway’s curlers and their incredible Winter Olympic trousers – ranked

The Norwegian men’s curling team have become notorious for appearing in outlandish trouser designs. We look at some of the highlightsSince the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, the Norwegian men’s curling team have made a name for themselves by wearin…

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Curling controversy as Britain lose out to Sweden in Pyeongchang – video

• Available to UK viewers only. Britain’s women’s curling team lost to Sweden in controversial circumstances after skip Eve Muirhead was adjudged to have not let go of her final stone before the hogline. Replays suggested that she did let go in ti…

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Winter Olympics day seven – in pictures

Flying referees, a shower of teddies and Britain’s first medal: all the latest pictures from the Winter Olympics in PyeongchangSee the best photography from previous days Continue reading…

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Britain beats Russians at curling but ‘steely’ Eve Muirhead wants gold

• Women’s skip Muirhead guides Britain to 10-3 victory• ‘A split decision can cost the game so it’s important I stay focused’There were precisely two Russians supporting their women’s curlers in their grudge match against Team GB on Wednesday, and one …

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Winter Olympics: fans from 15 countries pick out their medal hopes

Who will shine when 2,952 athletes from 92 countries meet in Pyeongchang to compete in 102 events? We asked our readersThe 23rd Winter Olympics are about to begin. Over the next fortnight, 92 countries are taking part in 102 events. But who should we b…

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Djokovic’s donkey cheese, curling controversy, and ‘the Greatest’ – Andy Zaltzman’s Summer of Sport

In the first of our new comedy-and-sport-but-definitely-non-football podcast series, Andy Zaltzman is joined by Mark Steel and Emma John to talk tennis, cricket, boxing and, er, curling

Welcome to Andy Zaltzman’s Summer of Sport – the brand new comedy and sport podcast series covering everything apart from that football thing in France. There’s Football Daily for that …

For this first outing Andy is joined by comedian Mark Steel and the Observer’s Emma John to discuss Novak Djokovic’s victory in the French Open and his continued dominance over Andy Murray (and everyone else, to be fair). It must be all the donkey cheese.

Continue reading…

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The gifs that keep on giving: Ronaldo, perfect curling and a misplaced punch

Featuring swinging fists, touchline travellers, ice brushing, an audacious entrance to a football match and the mesmerising feet of the true Ronaldo Continue reading…

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Great Britain fight back to beat China for Paralympic curling bronze

• Aileen Nielsen’s rink take British medal tally to six
• Revenge for round-robin defeat to Chinese team

Skip Aileen Neilson inspired Great Britain’s curlers to Winter Paralympic bronze with a 7-3 triumph over China. Neilson’s rink, beaten 13-4 by the hosts Russia in their semi-final , regrouped superbly to fight back from an early 3-0 deficit. Victory took Britain’s medal tally in Sochi to six.

Neilson was in tears at the finish as she celebrated with her team-mates, Angie Malone, Jim Gault, Gregor Ewan and alternate Bob McPherson. Britain had lost 6-3 to the Chinese in their final round-robin match on Thursday, but in the bronze medal match Neilson produced her best match of a tournament in which her all-Scottish rink have been inconsistent, mixing impressive wins with heavy losses.

It was thanks to Neilson they were not trailing by more than 3-0 after two ends, a rescue effort in the first limiting their opponents to a one-stone success. A pinpoint takeout from the 42-year-old in the third end made it 3-2 and in the next she forced an error from the China skip Wang Haitao to put her side 4-3 in front.

One-stone successes then followed in the fifth, sixth and seventh ends to leave China with too much ground to make up.

Neilson finished the match with an accuracy of 75%.

Malone, the only remaining member of the 2006 silver medal-winning team from Turin, who was brought in for McPherson for the match, also justified her inclusion with 75% accuracy.

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Winter Paralympics: Britain’s wheelchair curling team into last four

• Aileen Neilson’s squad battle back to beat US 8-7
• Hosts Russia will be semi-final opponents

British sports fans are used to dealing with shredded nerves and bitten fingernails but the wheelchair curlers served up a double dose of drama before booking their spot in the Winter Paralympic semi-finals.

Great Britain relied on a helping hand from Russia to seal their spot in the last four – and a meeting with the hosts. They are now only one win from a medal – but Aileen Neilson’s frustratingly inconsistent rink could scarcely have made harder work of their progression.

Hours after pulling off an incredible comeback to beat the US 8-7 in sudden death, they went down 6-3 to China in their final round-robin game and needed Russia’s 7-4 success over Slovakia to take them over the line.

Britain face the hosts, to whom they lost 11-2 on Wednesday, on Saturday, with Canada and China contesting the other semi-final.

“We are absolutely delighted to make the last four. That was our aim coming in,” Neilson, the skip, said. “Russia have a strong team but I am sure we can match them. They have huge support in that arena but we have some people here cheering us on and lots of people back home.”

Neilson’s team will need to reverse their recent form, though, having lost three of their last five matches, including a British Paralympic record 13-4 defeat by Finland. Their pool record was won five, lost four.

Plenty of fighting spirit will be required to silence the home fans inside Sochi’s Ice Cube Curling Centre but Britain have proved that is one quality they have in abundance.

They switched their line-up, with Angie Malone, the only veteran from the silver medal-winning rink in Turin in 2006, coming in for Bob McPherson. And, trailing 6-2 to the US in their first game of the day, they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a sudden-death success.

A five-stone end for Britain in the seventh, from the hand of the skip, turned the match on its head. The US levelled at 7-7 to force an extra end but it was the British quartet who held their nerve to clinch an 8-7 victory.

“Obviously for the spectators and people back home, their nerves must be fried and their blood pressure must be through the roof, so I apologise for that,” Neilson said.

The Chinese swiftly took the wind out of their sails by racing into a 6-1 lead in the next match and Britain appeared to be heading for a tie-breaker when Slovakia led Russia 4-2. But Neilson and her troops could breathe a sigh of relief when a three-stone end for Russia in the seventh turned that contest back in the hosts’ – and in Britain’s – favour.

“It is good to have a kick in the teeth [in the last game] so you can refocus and come back stronger,” said team-mate Gregor Ewan.

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Our favourite things online this week: from Sochi drawings to schadenfreude

Featuring Torvill and Dean, Manchester United’s misfortune, Winter Olympics sketches and Peter Schmeichel on boxing

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions on our last blog.

1) Everyone’s equal in the eyes of the law – apart from football fans

The headline on this New Statesman article by Martin Cloake and Darren White looks a tad extreme at first glance, but they go on to make a convincing case over the next 4,000 words. White is a solicitor who defends fans that feel they have been discriminated against and he is worried by the way authorities treat supporters: “There is still plenty of evidence of football fans being treated primarily as a problem. This matters. It matters because singling out and demonising a particular set of people – prejudice in everyday parlance – is just plain wrong.”

2) Desert Island Discs with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have always been popular with the Great British public and this 45-minute chat with Kirsty Young on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs shows why our love for them has endured for so long. The pair won Olympic gold in Sarajevo 30 years ago, but they remain Britain’s most famous Winter Olympians by some distance. Here they talk about their early days in Nottingham, how they met on the ice, what made their style unique and why the current crop of skaters have not captured the public’s imagination.

What shines through more than anything is their love and dedication to their sport. Becoming an Olympian in any discipline must require huge sacrifices, but Dean talks about how they pursued excellence in every single little detail. He tells the story of how some staff at the BBC record library in Nottingham thought he and Torvill worked there as they spent day after day rifling through records looking for that elusive song to soundtrack their next routine. In the end, all those hours listening to records paid off. They will always be synonymous with Maurice Ravel’s Boléro.

3) An Irishman Abroad: Jarlath Regan interviews Jerry Flannery

On the subject of dedication, here’s Jarlath Regan‘s interview with Jerry Flannery, the former Ireland rugby union player and current Arsenal strength and conditioning coach. There is just no bullshit with this man. At the end of the interview Flannery is asked what single piece of advice he would offer young listeners. Here’s his reply: “If you find something you are passionate about, you already have an advantage because over other people as it will never be work for you. It’s something you love and that you could spend all day doing. If other people are better than you at the start, don’t worry. Keep going and look at the long run. In the long game you will beat them. If you can find that thing you are passionate about, work hard, be confident and absolutely back yourself.” Quite frankly, every single young person reading this should go download this podcast and listen to it every week for the rest of time.

4) Laughing at Manchester United is one of football’s best things

This says it all, really: “Being a football fan has always been as much about hate as it is about love. Specifically, it is about schadenfreude, that only-in-German word that means taking joy from the suffering of others. Football can be a terrible outlet for the darkest thoughts and instincts of human beings, but it can also be about a sincere and profound hope that big clubs and your team’s rivals will fuck up endlessly. If you think that watching Dortmund-Bayern on your widescreen while sipping an expensive continental lager out of a glass is the height of football, then good for you – you’re probably right in terms of technique, but you’re not really a fan. If you think it’s a profound cultural experience, I suggest you read more or go see a band or a play. It’s football, not chamber music. The best things about being a football fan are watching your team win and watching a team you hate lose.” Oscar Rickett of Vice has summed up a hefty portion of football fans in one paragraph.

5) Do curlers make good housekeepers? Don’t ask

Everyone is asked inane questions about their job. But curlers – these Olympic athletes who represent their counties at the very highest level – get it worst that most, writes Sarah Lyall in the New York Times. Remember: sweeping the ice is not the same as sweeping the floor.

6) Peter Schmeichel on his love of boxing

The Body Shot podcast attracts some of the biggest names in boxing, but in this episode Ronald McIntosh has stepped away from his usual subject matter to interview former footballer Peter Schmeichel. The big goalkeeper had the perfect physique for heavyweight boxing, but says he could never have faced an opponent in the ring. Schmeichel was introduced to boxing by his father and has used his media work to interview some of his heroes. He is good friends with fellow Dane Mikkel Kessler and is a big fan of Chris Eubank. Schmeichel is a decent football pundit, but he is probably more interesting when talking about boxing.

7) Drawing the Olympics

Live-blogging is old news. These days it’s all about live-drawing. Liza Donnelly of the New Yorker is leading the media revolution. You heard it here first.

8) Flashback to Eric Cantona’s kung-fu kick in 1995

It’s funny how a single moment can change our perception of a sporting occasion forever. Take Manchester United’s match against Crystal Palace on 25 January 1995. The 18,244 fans who squeezed into Selhurst Park on that cold night endured an unmemorable dirge of a match for the first 56 minutes. But then Eric Cantona was sent off for flicking a kick at the Palace defender Richard Shaw. Commentators don’t like to admit it, but a red card can liven up a game. In this case, it lit up Cantona’s short fuse and set in motion a chain of events that he is still asked about today.

Jim White has devoted a chapter of his new book A history of the Premier League in 10 matches to the game and has added some context to the madness. Apparently this wasn’t the first time a Manchester United player had attacked a member of the crowd; back in 1960 Harry Gregg hit a fan so hard he knocked him out. Gregg played the days before Sky TV, but Cantona’s kick has lived on in the memory for nearly 20 years. When Shia LaBeouf walked out of a press conference earlier this month, he quoted Cantona’s line about trawlers, sardines and the sea. That kung-fu kick has endured, but the match itself has largely drifted into the ether. For the record, it finished 1-1 with Gareth Southgate and David May scoring the goals. Not that anyone cares.

9) The beautiful language

There is so much to admire about Roads and Kingdoms. Their articles look gorgeous, they tell fascinating stories from around the world and they encourage talented writers to express themselves over as many words as it takes. This article by Jack Lang about the language of Brazilian football is their lastest in a series of hits.

10) Blind man shoots a three-point shot

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