by Al Cameron
February 5, 2014, SOCHI, Russia (ISN) - Canada's men's and women's curling teams have arrived in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics with hopes of extending a perfect record of winning medals.
Since curling was re-introduced as a medal sport in 1998 at Nagano, Japan, Canadian teams have reached the podium at each Olympics.
Canada is the two-time defending men's gold-medallist, with Kevin Martin's Edmonton team prevailing four years ago in Vancouver, and Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., having won gold in 2006 at Torino, Italy.
Prior to that, Martin won the silver medal in 2002 at Salt Lake City, and Mike Harris (Oakville, Ont.) took silver in 1998 at Nagano.
Canadian women's teams have won a gold medal — Regina's Sandra Schmirler in 1998 at Nagano — to go along with a silver — Calgary's Cheryl Bernard four years ago in Vancouver — and two bronze — Calgary's Shannon Kleibrink in 2006 at Torino, and Kelley Law of New Westminster, B.C., in 2002 at Salt Lake City.
The 2014 Canadian reps, Team Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden, alternate Caleb Flaxey, team coach Tom Coulterman, national coach Rick Lang) and Team Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg; third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Kirsten Wall, team coach Janet Arnott, national coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson) arrived in Sochi on Tuesday night, and will march in the Opening Ceremonies on Friday before two days of practice at the Ice Cube Curling Center, which will host the curling competition.
Round-robin play will get underway on Monday, Feb. 10.
There are 10 men's and 10 women's teams competing in Sochi, with four teams advancing to the playoffs. The first-place team will play the fourth-place team in one semifinal, while the second-place team plays the third-place team in the other semi.
Tiebreakers, if required, will be played on Feb. 18. The women's semifinals are at 2 p.m. (Sochi time) on Feb. 19, while the men's semifinals are at 7 p.m., also on Feb. 19.
The women's bronze-medal game (12:30 p.m.) and gold-medal game (5:30 p.m.) will be played on Feb. 20, with the men's bronze-medal game (12:30 p.m.) and gold-medal game (5:30 p.m.) on Feb. 21.
Here is Canada's round-robin schedule (all times Eastern Standard). All of Canada's games are scheduled to be broadcast live on various channels. Please note that television schedules are subject to change. Check olympics.cbc.ca/broadcast-schedule/index.html for the latest updates:
Live scoring during the Olympics will be available at: www.sochi2014.com/en/curling
You can follow Team Canada at the Olympics on www.curling.ca. After each game, blogs from the Canadian curlers will be posted, with updates on the Games and the competition, and a peek into what life is like as an athlete at the Winter Olympics. As well, go to www.olympic.ca for updates on the whole Canadian team in Sochi.