Curling will apply for a 2nd time to have mixed doubles in Olympic program
Skip Kevin Martin throws as second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert sweep during draw 10 against John Epping at the 2013 Roar Of The Rings championship in Winnipeg, Wednesday, December 4, 2013. (John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, December 5, 2013 3:13PM EST
Curling officials will apply to add mixed doubles to the Olympic program in time for the Pyeongchang Games in South Korea in 2018.
Since returning to the Olympics in 1998, two curling events have been contested at each games -- the men's and women's competitions.
The World Curling Federation made a tentative bid in 2005 to include mixed doubles on the Olympic program for the 2010 Vancouver Games, but it was rejected because the discipline hadn't spread globally.
However, WCF president Kate Caithness said "mixed doubles is part of our sport that has taken off around the world," with the governing body spending the last eight years developing the spread to meet the technical requirements for Olympic admission.
The application will be made after next year's Sochi Games and decision will be reached by the IOC in 2015. If it is accepted, mixed doubles would be a 16-team competition.
"It would allow other countries who wouldn't perhaps have the chance of going to the Olympics with a full men's team and full women's team to take part in the Olympics," Caithness told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
"We have mixed doubles in world championships so we have done our homework. Hopefully it will appeal to the IOC."
Caithness said the discipline would fit "in the same venue, in the same timeframe and with the same officials" as the men's and women's events.
Hungary is the current world champion in mixed doubles.