On March 10, 2013, the World Junior Curling Championships came to an end at the "Ice Cube" Curling Center in Sochi. The event was held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee along with the World Curling Federation. Sochi provided a fantastic welcome to 100 curlers from 12 different countries: Denmark, Italy, Canada, China, Norway, Russia, USA, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Scotland and Japan.
The World Junior Curling Championships are the second international Test Events to be held at the "Ice Cube" Curling Center, following hot on the heels of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship, which ended on February 23. Over 70 members of staff from the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee successfully tested all of the services and functions at the venue, which is going to host the curling and the wheelchair curling at the 2014 Games.
By contrast with the wheelchair curling event, which featured mixed teams, at the World Junior Curling Championships there were two separate tournaments - one for boys and one for girls - taking place simultaneously.
Russia's girls took the gold medal, with a 6-5 extra-end win over Scotland in the final.
Russia's boys also reached the final, but lost 2-6 to their Scottish rivals and had to settle for silver, nevertheless their highest placing ever in this team’s history.
The bronze medals in the boys' event went to the Canadians, who beat Sweden 6-4 in the third-place play-off. In the girls' event it was the Japanese who took third place, after an 8-4 win against the Czechs.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, commented:
"The World Junior Curling Championships brought the current season of Test Events at the "Ice Cube" Curling Center to a close. While staging these events we managed to try out not only the venue's sports infrastructure, but also the functioning of services at the venue and the work of the Sochi 2014 volunteers. The Test Events have shown that we are more than ready to host the biggest curling tournaments in the world. We look forward to seeing all the curlers and the fans again next year, at the Sochi Games!"
The President of the Russian Olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov, added:
"I'm delighted that Russia's junior teams have taken part in the finals of the World Curling Championships, for the first time ever. And our boys and girls enjoyed tremendous success at these tournaments. We have seen some terrific developments in Russian curling lately, with more and more youngsters taking up the sport. Special ice rinks designed to host curling events are appearing around the country, and the "Ice Cube" Curling Center has been called one of the best curling venues in the world by the sport’s leading experts."
Evgeny Arkhipov, Russia:
"You can sense the pre-Olympic atmosphere in Sochi, the arena here is amazing, and by night all the other ice arenas are beautifully lit up, with everything gleaming. It's awesome! The quality of the ice is excellent, the indentations are superb, you can predict what the ice is going to do, and the speed is good. I don't think things will be any different at the Olympic Games!"
Jiang Dongxu, China:
"The people in Russia are very friendly. I'm sure we can look forward to the same warm welcome at the Olympic Games next year, as well. The field of play, the equipment and all the services are really good. Everything is top-class. The "Ice Cube" Curling Center is one of the best curling venues in the world. This is my first visit to Russia and I really like being here!"
Smith Kyle, Scotland:
"All week we were hoping we could win the tournament. We couldn't be happier. I've dreamed about this all my life. We had our hopes up, and we're delighted that everything worked out so well. The boys from the Russian team that we played in the final with were the toughest opponents we had to face. It was a great tournament. Russia's a wonderful country. The ice was just fantastic! The staff were all happy to help us out whenever we needed anything. It was a job well done!"
Notes to the editor
The "Ice Cube" Curling Center is the smallest but perhaps one of the coziest venues in the Olympic Park. Its laconic design symbolizes democracy and accessibility, and, at the same time, a sense of celebration, all of which are characteristic of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The name of the venue calls to mind its architectural shape, which stands at a height of 19.3 m and measures 30 m by 60 m.