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Curling worlds canceled; one Winter Olympic sport world championship remains

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Curling world championships for men and mixed doubles were canceled due to the coronavirus on Saturday, leaving one Winter Olympic sport world championship remaining this season.

“It’s with great regret and disappointment that it has not been possible to run all of our flagship World Curling Championships in 2020,” World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness said, according to a press release announcing the mixed doubles cancellation, three hours after the men’s worlds announcement. “But, it’s vitally important to remember that we are not alone in doing so, with fellow sporting bodies around the globe also having to make these difficult decisions. Ultimately our first priority is always the health and well-being of our athletes, officials, fans and staff.”

Men’s worlds were scheduled for March 28-April 5 in Glasgow. Mixed doubles, which made its Olympic debut in PyeongChang, were scheduled for April 18-25 in British Columbia. Women’s worlds, originally scheduled to start Saturday in British Columbia, were canceled Thursday.

All of the other world championships scheduled to start in March were previously canceled or postponed: figure skating, women’s hockey and short track speed skating.

The U.S. women’s team that was entered for worlds included PyeongChang Olympians Tabitha PetersonBecca Hamilton and Aileen Geving.

PyeongChang Olympic champions John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner were on the U.S. team entered for men’s worlds. Peterson and PyeongChang Olympic alternate Joe Polo were the U.S.’ mixed doubles team.

The last remaining Winter Olympic sport world championship is the men’s hockey tournament scheduled for May 8-24 in Switzerland.

The International Ice Hockey Federation Council planned a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of men’s worlds.

Other Winter Olympic sports held world championships in February — biathlon, bobsled, skeleton, luge and speed skating.

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World women’s curling championship canceled; other curling worlds being evaluated

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The world women’s curling championship tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus on Thursday, two days before it was to begin in British Columbia.

The decision was made after a recommendation by the province’s health officer.

“Also, the decision was taken considering other major sporting events that have been cancelled in the past 24 hours, and various national travel restrictions that are coming into force around the world,” according to a World Curling press release.

“There is an ongoing evaluation” into the men’s world championships (March 28-April 5 in Glasgow) and mixed doubles worlds (April 18-25), according to World Curling. Those, plus the world men’s hockey championship in May, are the lone remaining Winter Olympic sports world championships this season.

World championships were previously canceled or postponed for figure skating, women’s hockey and short track speed skating.

The U.S. women’s team that was entered for worlds included PyeongChang Olympians Tabitha PetersonBecca Hamilton and Aileen Geving.

PyeongChang Olympic champions John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner are on the U.S. team entered for men’s worlds. Peterson and PyeongChang Olympic alternate Joe Polo are the U.S.’ mixed doubles team.

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Olympic curling champion forms mixed doubles team with 12-year-old daughter

Brad Gushue
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Brad Gushue, the curling skip who won 2006 Olympic gold for Canada, has a new teammate who wasn’t born when he won in Torino.

Gushue has qualified once again for the Brier, the Canadian men’s championship he won for the first time in 14 tries in 2017 and won again in 2018. He’s having another stellar season, ranking third in the Order of Merit with top-three finishes in all four Grand Slam events so far this season.

This week, Gushue is playing in the Newfoundland and Labrador mixed doubles championship with his 12-year-old daugher, Hayley.

Hayley Gushue helped her father learn the new discipline of mixed doubles curling in time for the Olympic trials in 2018, where he and Val Sweeting reached the final but missed out on an Olympic berth.

The younger Gushue doesn’t take curling all that seriously yet, her father told local newspaper The Telegram, but she’s already ahead of him in one sense — he didn’t start curling until age 13.

While Hayley wasn’t around to see her father win Olympic gold, she’s old enough to remember his world championship win in 2017, 11 years after the 2006 Games. He took silver the next year in Las Vegas.

So far, the father-daughter duo is 1-1 in the Newfoundland and Labrador championship, opening with a loss to defending champions Dave Thomas and Jenna Harvey.

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