YOG 2016 Mixed Doubles reaction: day one

  • Kim Hogeon (Korea) and Maia Ramsfjell (Norway) are paired together Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

The Mixed Doubles event began at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway today (Friday 19 February). For this event teams are made up of a male athlete and a female athlete from different National Olympic Committees.

The Mixed Doubles is a straight knock-out with the winning teams progressing to the last-16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and then Gold and Bronze medal games on Friday (21 February) at 13.00 (Central European Time). The athletes react to this unique experience:

Giovanna Barros, who played third in the Brazilian Curling team at the Mixed event in Lillehammer, Norway became the first Brazilian curler to win a game at an Olympic Games. She is paired with USA's Ben Richardson

Giovanna Barros; Team BRA|USA (after 8-4 win over SWE|CHN): “It feels really good, I didn’t think this would happen, but here we are. Ben [Richardson, USA second] was a really good team-mate, he knew a lot, since he won the Silver medal. It’s [mixed nationality Mixed Doubles] really cool because you get to meet you new people and friends who you didn’t think you’d have.”

Great Britain skip Ross Whyte, who is paired with China lead Yu Han, had a successful first round beating Canada and Brazil pair, Mary Fay and Elian Sabra Rocha.

Ross Whyte; Team CHN| GBR (after 9-5 win over CAN|BRA): “We got off to a really good start. Yu played an amazing shot in the first end that got us a four, which always helps. We have communicated with a lot of hand gestures, but because curling is universal we’re getting on fine.”

Maia Ransfjell was the first Norwegian to move into the second round of the Mixed Doubles at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Maia Ramsfjell; Team NOR|KOR (after 10-4 win over NZL|SUI): “I've played Mixed Doubles with my brother at the national championships and I played a couple of other tournaments, so I'm kind of an experienced player. My team-mate hasn't played very much so far, but he is very good at it for sure. We communicated very well despite our language differences and we had some angles with us. Coming into the Mixed Doubles tournament, I didn't really expect to win the first game, but now I think we have a chance at a medal.”

Russian skip Nadezhda Karelina and Japan second Kosuke Aita are aiming to overcome the language barriers in their Mixed Doubles pairing and win a medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Nadezhda Karelina; Team RUS|JPN (after 8-2 win over CZE|TUR): “There were no miss understandings today, we were using a little bit of English and body language to communicate, and it worked perfectly. We really want to try and make winning a medal happen.”

Korean Lead Jiyoung Lee found her first ever Mixed Doubles game a great learning experience and felt the skill of her partner, Johan Nygren, who was the Swedish skip in the mixed event, beneficial in helping them reach the second round, which will be played tomorrow (Saturday 20 February).

Jiyoung Lee; Team KOR|SWE (after 8-1 win over USA|NZL): “We tried to communicate with Johan, even though we can't speak in our own language, but we tried to connect to each other. That's why we could win. One of Johan's biggest strengths is that he remains calm in every situation, and also he tried to lead me, and he cheered me up every time. This is my first time playing mixed doubles, but if I have the opportunity, I would love to challenge myself in it.

Canadian Gold medalist Sterling Middleton is relishing the chance to compete for another medal in Lillehammer, Norway with Mixed Doubles partner Holly Thompson, who played third for New Zealand in the mixed event.

Sterling Middleton; Team NZL|CAN (After 8-2 win over GBR|KOR): “It was really fun, we are going out to enjoy ourselves and play some more games. I’m glad Holly [Thompson] is my partner and I’m looking forward to the next game. We’re getting along well, we understand the game well and we speak the same language. It’s fun when you keep winning, so we’re hoping that we keep winning.”

Curling fans can follow all the action from Lillehammer 2016 on social media using the following channels:

Twitter/Instagram: www.twitter.com/worldcurling
Facebook: www.facebook.com//WorldCurlingFederation
YouTube: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_Fr_yXnOHvi0qIibzUEUi0EQf4orufXQ
Hashtags: #YOGcurling #iLoveYOG #Lillehammer2016

 YOG 2016 Mixed Doubles teams
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