|Estonia's Marie Turmann from the 2017 gold medal team. Photo © www.wintergamesnz.kiwi|
Lake Wanaka, 3 May 2018 – Underlining its position as one of the world’s leading international winter sports events, the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ has joined forces with the World Curling Tour to host the first Mixed Doubles Curling Tournament of the 2018/19 season.
A newly-signed partnership agreement will mean that the Winter Games NZ Curling Tournament will become the first Southern Hemisphere event to join the global Tour which incorporates some 170 championship curling events.
“We are all really excited to have the Mixed Doubles event at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ become an official part of our World Mixed Doubles Curling Tour,” says World Curling Tour President Armin Harder.
“This event has become a highlight for many top Mixed Doubles teams over the last number of years. With it becoming an official part of the Tour, participating teams can now also collect valuable World Curling Tour Ranking Points.
“To now be able to list the beautiful country of New Zealand as one of our Tour stops is certainly a big thrill for fans and players. Particularly exciting is that this will be our first event in the Southern Hemisphere and also our opening event for the upcoming 18/19 season. We wish Winter Games NZ and all the participants the best of luck and look forward to this year’s Games.”
Winter Games NZ has been hosting some of the world’s best curlers since the sport first featured on its schedule in 2009. With Mixed Doubles making its Olympic debut as a full-medal sport at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, international teams used the 2017 Audi quattro Winter Games as part of their Olympic preparation, including the Olympic Silver medalists from Switzerland and Bronze from Norway, amongst other high profile teams.
The 2018 Audi quattro Winter Games will once again see an impressive line-up including teams from Switzerland and Canada, the gold and bronze medal-winning nations at last month’s World Championships. Defending Winter Games NZ champions Estonia, are also expected to attend, along with teams from Australia, Scotland, USA, Japan, Korea and China. The Kiwis will be looking to make the most of a hometown advantage with two teams set to compete.
Martin Toomey, CEO of the Audi quattro Winter Games, commented, “Curling has been an integral part of the Audi quattro Winter Games since its inception so we are delighted to see the Mixed Doubles tournament officially recognized as a World Curling Tour event in 2018 and 2019. We look forward to welcoming the teams to Aotearoa New Zealand in August and look forward to seeing world class action being played out in a world class venue.
The Winter Games NZ Curling Tournament will take place at the Maniototo International Curling Rink in Naseby from 26-30 August and spectators are invited to watch the action for free.
The 2018 Audi quattro Winter Games NZ will take place from 24 August to 8 September. The full competition schedule is available here.