National Post (National Edition)
Women's world curling title cancelled
For the second time in as many years, the World Women’s Curling Championship has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Curling Federation announced the cancellation Monday, saying it was based on a decision by the Swiss local health authority to not support the event.
The championship was supposed to be played in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, March 19-28. Last year's championship, which was to be played in Prince George, B.C., was also scrapped.
“It is disappointing, but I'm glad that we found out before the Scotties,” said 2020 Canadian women’s champion Kerri Einarson, whose team missed out on a chance to play in the worlds last year.
“If we found out during the Scotties, that would be even more devastating. Now we can get it into our minds and look at it a little differently.”
While Curling Canada has received approval to host major events in a bubble environment in Calgary, starting this month, the world women's championship is not currently part of its plan.
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Canadian women’s championship), Tim Hortons Brier (men's championship), Canadian mixed doubles championship and the world men's championship will all be staged in the bubble over a two-month period, beginning on Feb. 19.
The World Curling Federation could ask Curling Canada to include the world women's event in the bubble, and that could conceivably be looked at, but the planning for the bubble is complicated enough already and it would not be possible to just snap fingers and add another championship.
“We are evaluating all of the options open to us at the moment,” said Christopher Hamilton, head of media for the WCF. “However, with the logistics involved in bringing another international event into the Calgary bubble, as well as the limited time we have available, it's unlikely that will be the route we take.”
The world championships are used as qualifying events for the Olympics and the back-to-back cancellations have played havoc with that process for Beijing 2022.
As such, WCF president Kate Caithness said the door is open to some sort of rescheduling of the women's worlds or even replacing it with a different type of Olympic qualifying event.