Fredericton to host world curling events

Fredericton has been chosen to host the 2013 World Seniors Championships, for men, women and mixed doubles next April.

2013 World Seniors Championships to be held at Grant-Harvey Centre

Curlers from around the world will converge on Fredericton next spring for the 2013 World Seniors Championships.

The city has been chosen to host the championships for men, women and mixed doubles.

The three events will be held at the new Grant-Harvey Centre, which is slated to open on the city’s south side this summer.

"It's an opportunity to see some of the best curling you're ever going to see, quite honestly," said Robert Wight, Capital Winter Curling Club president and a member of the organizing committee.

"Some of these people have already won at the normal world championship level and now they're showing their wares again at the seniors level - seniors is 50 and above."

Seventy teams from 30 different countries will participate in the championships April 13-20, said Wight.

Members of the International Olympic Committee will be checking out the mixed doubles competition for possible inclusion in the Olympics, he said.

"It only uses one woman and one man on the team. So there's only two curlers go at a time there and so it's a little bit more finesse, more concentrated on drawing around stones and making very hard and difficult shots.

"Not quite the same as what you would see at the Brier where they do a lot of hitting," said Wight. "This is going to be more finesse, having to read that ice and know your weight very, very well."

Mixed doubles is very popular in Europe, said Wight. There will be teams from Spain and Turkey as well as Latvia, and Romania, he said.

The $29.5-million Grant-Harvey Centre is expected to open in June with Olympic- and National Hockey League-sized ice surfaces.