Curling Seen As Fastest Growing Winter Sport Ahead Of PyeongChang 2018
Curling "will sweep onto the ice" at next month’s PyeongChang Olympics with the "proud boast of being the world’s fastest growing winter sport," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. The "roaring game," with its origins in the "frozen ponds and mists of medieval Scotland, is now popping up in the sort of sunny places" where ice usually "comes in cubes to cool the drinks." Qatar’s men’s curling team celebrated its first int'l victory last November, beating Kazakhstan on Australia’s "sun-soaked Central Coast north of Sydney." World Curling President Kate Caithness said, "You’d obviously think curling is for winter sport countries, it’s not really." Caithness, one of "only two female presidents of any Olympic sports," added, "Give us a hall and we’ll make ice." The "main growth areas" over the next four years for the sport are likely to be China and the U.S. Caithness: "China is a huge, huge market for us. We’ve just signed a $13.4 million contract with a sponsor (Kingdomway Sports) in China for the next four years in the run-up between now and 2022." Starting this year, a new "made-for-television World Cup" will start with four city events on three continents forming the "Road to Beijing." USA Curling last year signed a sponsorship deal with Pepsico’s Frito-Lay brand Cheetos (REUTERS, 1/16).