Curling 101: Qualifying for the 2018 Olympics

Curling 101: Qualification

Curling skip John Shuster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics

The 2016 and 2017 World Curling Championships and two Olympic Qualification Events will determine which countries send curling teams to the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

A maximum of 28 teams and 96 athletes will qualify:

  • Men’s curling: 10 teams of four male athletes (40)
  • Women’s curling: 10 teams of four female athletes (40)
  • Mixed doubles: 8 teams of one male and one female athlete (16)

The host country, South Korea, is guaranteed an Olympic team berth in each tournament.

In all three curling events, seven teams each will qualify for PyeongChang through earning Olympic Qualification Points at the 2016 and 2017 World Curling Championships. Higher world championship finishes earn more points, and the seven teams with the most accumulated points over two years will earn Olympic berths for their country.

The countries that have already qualified a team for the 2018 Olympics are:

Men’s curling:

  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • USA
  • Japan
  • Switzerland
  • Great Britain
  • Norway
  • South Korea

Women’s curling:

  • Canada
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • Great Britain
  • USA
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • Japan

Mixed doubles curling:

  • Canada
  • China
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Switzerland
  • USA 
  • South Korea

Two more men’s and two more women’s curling teams will have a second chance to earn Olympic berths at Olympic Qualification Events. The men’s Olympic Qualification Event will take place in Pilsen, Czech Republic between December 5th and 10th, 2017. The women’s Olympic Qualification Event has not been announced.

The teams that finish first and second at the Olympic Qualification Event will earn the final spots at the PyeongChang Olympics.

There is no mixed doubles Olympics Qualification Event; the eight-team field was set after the 2017 World Championships.

Team USA

Team USA can qualify a maximum of 10 curling athletes (a four-person men’s team, a four-person women’s team and a two-person mixed doubles team) to PyeongChang.

The top contenders are on the men’s side are the rink skipped by John Shuster. Shuster, a bronze medalist at the 2006 Olympics who also competed at the 2010 and 2014 Games, Tyler George, John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton finished third at the 2016 Worlds and fourth at the 2017 Worlds.

The U.S. sent two different teams to the 2016 and 2017 Women’s World Championships. In 2016, Erika Brown’s rink placed sixth, and in 2017, skip Nina Roth led her team to a fifth-place finish.

In mixed doubles curling, Joe Polo and Tabitha Peterson claimed bronze at the 2016 Worlds and siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton finished tenth at the 2017 Worlds.

The men’s and women’s teams will be named after the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling in Nov. 2017, and the mixed doubles team will be named at a separate Olympic Team Mixed Doubles Trials in Dec. 2017. 

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