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Bronze or bust

GANGNEUNG, Korea – Team Canada put in a valiant effort against Sweden this afternoon, but it was not to be.

Canadian curling fans, so used to seeing Jennifer Jones and Co. make wild comebacks, almost saw yet another one today.

In total control in the ninth end, one up with hammer, the Joneses ran into trouble – missing five of eight shots, including both of Jennifer’s – and dropped a steal of two.

In the 10th, things didn’t look much better when Dawn Askin was very light on a guard and Cathy O came light on an essential come around.

But JJ took matter into her own hands, making a hit and roll on her first one and then letting fly with a delicate chip ’n flop attempt on her last one, and exceedingly difficult shot with a razor-thin margin of error.

As Jill Officer said, the skipper missed it “by millimetres.”

In the 10th end , with the ice straightening out, Jones’ long guard effort couldn’t be stuffed behind, and she was a tad heavy too, and Anette Norberg of Sweden followed her down for the freeze, and the win.

Great effort, and the first time in a long while – possibly ever? – that a 9-2 record only got you into the Page 3/4 game.

With a two-time world champ and defending Olympic champion as your fourth-place opponent.

Hey now.

Nice event going on here in Gangneung.

Nice WCF pic by Lee Young Gyu, taken as the skipper realized her fate in the fateful ninth end. Click to expand photo size.

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Sexiest curlers poll

Okay.

We probably shouldn’t do this.

But we’re going to do it anyway.

A blog titled Euro Women is running a poll to decide the Sexiest Woman of the 2009 World Curling Championship.

There have only been 12 votes cast over the duration of the poll… which has only a couple of days left online.

The contestants (as chosen by the blogsite) are:

Jennifer Jones (Canada)
Madeleine Dupont (Denmark)
Camilla Jensen (Denmark)
Eve Muirhead (Scotland)
Jackie Lockhart (Scotland)
Eva Lund (Sweden)
Debbie McCormick (USA)
Allison Pottinger (USA)
Marianne Roervik (Norway)
Liudmila Privivkova (Russia)
Melanie Robillard (Germany)
Ekaterina Galkina (Russia)
Carmen Schaefer (Switzerland)

Although we are admittedly contributing to the sexploitation of some truly skilled curling athletes, we look in the mirror and realize that, well, we could be accused of doing so already.

And so.

And so again, quite a while ago now.

Thus keeping with our mandate – to show you just about everything that is out there in the world of curling – we present the blog page… and with it your chance to vote.

PHOTO: Denmark’s Camilla Jensen (left) and Madeleine Dupont in Page playoff action Friday night in Gangneung

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Boat on the Hill

GANGNEUNG, Korea – Have you heard about the boat on the hill?

Yep, the Sun Cruise Hotel is one of the host hotels here at the Mount Titlis Women’s World Championship 2009, and apart from some iffy wine choices, the place is utterly spectacular.

True, the concept of designing and building a landlocked cruise liner for a hotel seems a bit odd. But everything from the rooms (with heated floors) to the grounds – full of walking gardens and sculptures etc. – to the breathtaking views of the Sea of Japan is simply… well, breathtaking.

Hotel website located here.

On the ice, China’s Bingyu Wang just defeated Denmark’s Angelina Jensen in the 1 versus 2 playoff by a 6-3 score. The Chinese will appear in their second straight world final on Sunday.

Tomorrow it’s Canada versus Sweden in a battle of women’s curling titans, with the victor battling the Danes in the evening’s semifinal.

The World Curling Federation game summary should be posted shortly.

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Colourful in Korea

GANGNEUNG – Okay. Just so you don’t think everything about this curling championship is silly… check out the stunning entrance to the arena.

Daily shows like this.

Massive, colourful banners.

There are flags and banners everywhere across the city. And we mean everywhere.

Looks fantastic. Click to view increased image size.

Canadian curling events should take note.

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Mercer Curling tonight

Tonight is the season finale of Rick Mercer Report, and in said finale, the Canadian funnyman goes wheelchair curling.

Of course, as a faithful reader of The Curling News Blog, you already knew this. And you knew this many times over. And et cetera and so on

In the Dallas Bittle photo above, we see that Mercer did actually get a stone in motion. Tune in tonight at 8:00pm (on CBC) to see the results.

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Korean Silly Curling

montykorGANGNEUNG, KOREA – Yes, we are here. We have been here for a while. But we have been very busy.

So our first post is just plain silly. Silly as in the “Silly Walks” sketch by the legendary Monty Python comedy group.

You see, the Koreans played a rather unusual tune for the athletes as they marched out onto the ice last night. It was the Monty Python theme song!

Canada coach Janet Arnott seemed quite shocked to see a Silly Walk taking place on the carpet before her. Click on the image to zoom in. Priceless!

The next time we hear that theme, we’re going Gumby.

Yes. Things are a bit weird here in Korea.

Just the way we like it!

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Rick Mercer Curling V

VANCOUVER – Okay. Canadian TV star Rick Mercer is in his chair, and attacking the poor, innocent curling stone like he’s a sledge hockey player digging the puck out of the corner.

This is to the obvious amusement of Jim Armstrong (right) and B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell (left).

All that’s left is to show you is… Mercer’s historic first delivery.

Which we’re not going to do. Not right now, anyway.

You’ll just have to wait. Perhaps until next month, when the final episode of Rick Mercer Report airs in Canada.

For context on what this is about, see the first post in this series.

TCN photo by Dallas Bittle. Click on image to increase size.

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Rick Mercer Curling IV

VANCOUVER – Canadian TV star Rick Mercer is safely in his wheelchair, armed with a throwing stick, and he’s finally ready for action.

However, it may or may not be fact that B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell is trash-talking the Maritimer. Mercer looks somewhat unamused at the taunting and yet amused at Campbell’s gall.

You’re going to beat my ass? We’ll see about that, Gordo.

Of course, we could be wrong. Campbell may have some wheelchair curling prowess, and he might be passing along some pointers.

You’re giving me advice? We’ll see about that, Gordo.

Or perhaps Campbell is advising Mercer on a possible run for Prime Minister?

Who knows?

For context on what this is about, see the first post in this series.

TCN photo by Dallas Bittle. Click on image to increase size.

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Rick Mercer Curling III

VANCOUVER – Canadian TV political comic Rick Mercer finally sat in his wheelchair… and promptly near-tipped it over.

As Mercer braces himself on everyone else’s chairs, 2009 world champion wheelchair curling skip Jim Armstrong gives the funnyman some pointers.

Team Canada third Darryl Neighbour and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell look on.

For context on what this is about, see the first post in this series.

TCN photo by Dallas Bittle. Click image to increase size.