Team Canada aims to add to golden curling season

Team Canada, from left, Kevin Koe, Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft, Nolan Thiessen, Jamie King and John Dunn. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

Kevin Koe’s team from the Glencoe Club in Calgary will look to win Canada’s fourth international gold medal of the 2013-14 curling season when the 2014 World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, opens Saturday at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

Team Canada, from left, Kevin Koe, Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft, Nolan Thiessen, Jamie King and John Dunn. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)

The Koe foursome — third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft, lead Nolan Thiessen, alternate Jamie King, team coach John Dunn and national coach Rick Lang — will be looking to join Olympic gold-medallists Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones and world junior women’s champ Kelsey Rocque in ascending to the top step of the medal podium on the world stage this season.

Team Canada opens the 12-team round-robin competition on Saturday against Rasmus Stjerne of Denmark at 7 p.m. local time, which is 7 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.

Canada will be looking to win a leading 35th world championship in the 55-year history of the World Men’s Championship, in addition to bringing a fourth title to Canada in five years. Koe — with Rycroft, Thiessen and Dunn aboard — won gold in 2010 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy; Jeff Stoughton triumphed in 2011 at Regina and Glenn Howard prevailed in 2012 at Basel, Switzerland. Last year, Jacobs lost the gold-medal game to Sweden’s Niklas Edin in Victoria.

The championship is being staged in the same arena that hosted the 2008 Summer Olympic volleyball competition, and has a listed capacity of 17,345.

The fans in Beijing will see a field that features Olympians and former world champions competing in the first Asia-hosted World Men’s Championship.

In addition to Koe and his 2010 gold medal, one of Scotland’s most accomplished World Championship curlers, Ewan MacDonald, will skip for the second time at the event in pursuit of …read more