The wheelchair curling competition at PyeongChang 2018 will begin on 10 March at the Gangneung Curling Centre. Here are five storylines to follow:
1. Norway on their way
Norway have proven themselves on the World Championships level and are now in a strong position to win that elusive Paralympic title. They reached the finals of the 2016 World Championships A-Pool but could not pull away with the gold. That changed at the 2017 Worlds, spoiling Russia’s campaign for a third straight title. Quite impressive for a team that were promoted out of the B-Pool in 2015.
2. South Korea hoping to shine on home ice
Same goes for host country South Korea, who along with Norway rose out of the B-Pool to find quick success just in time for their home Paralympic Winter Games. South Korea fell to Norway in the finals of the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2015, but as a top-two finisher earned promotion to the 2016 A-Pool, where they won the bronze medal. Led by rookie skip Soon Seok-Seo, South Korea will look to upgrade their silver from Vancouver 2010.
3. Can Canada make it back to the top?
Canada have won every Paralympic title since the sport debuted at Torino 2006. But since their last major gold medal at Sochi 2014, Canada have been absent from the podium. The country finished fifth at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017, which doubled as the Test Event. Skip Mark Ideson, third Ina Forrest and second Dennis Thiessen all have tasted Paralympic success before and will be back in PyeongChang for more.
4. A complete collection
Great Britain owns a bronze from Sochi 2014 and silver from Torino 2006. There is only one colour that is missing. At the 2017 Worlds, Scotland – which will compete as Great Britain in PyeongChang – captured the bronze and showed their might ahead of the Winter Games. Led by Aileen Nielson, Great Britain is a medal contender, and gold would be nice before the 2019 World Championships comes to Scotland.
5. Sleeper team
The 2015 Worlds bronze medallist China is ranked No. 3 entering PyeongChang 2018 and lost to Scotland in the third-place match in last year’s World Championships. These Games would be important for China ahead of the next Paralympic cycle toward Beijing 2022.
The Paralympic Winter Games take place in PyeongChang, South Korea from 9-18 March. Tickets can be purchased here.