The development of wheelchair curling

Ascent at a rapid pace

In 2006, wheelchair curling was played for the first time at the Winter Paralympics in Turin (Italy). This was a small miracle given the development of this sport for people with physical disabilities. The success story began with an international tournament in Montana in 2000. This was followed in 2001 by the World Cup in Sursee and a year later at the same location, the first official World cup.

 

The biggest step on the way to Turin was at the 2002 International Paralympic Committee Congress in Salt Lake City (US). Representatives of the World Curling Federation (WCF), the Swiss Paralympic Committee (SPC) and other advocates laid the decisive stone for the definitive inclusion of wheelchair curling in the program of the Winter Paralympics 2006. The decisive factors were positive experiences, the future potential and a continuous high level in the areas of organisation, infrastructure and competition.

 

In everyone’s interest

The elevation into higher spheres was based on the common interests of several organisations. The SWISSCURLING Association and the WCF saw in the opening of the game to disabled people new opportunities for making the game with stone and brush more popular. Wheelchair athletes from the Swiss Paraplegics Association and its Swiss Wheelchair Sports Department and the SPC, the above fact suited them in other ways.

 

For a long time, people had been searching for new sporting activities which wheelchair users could pursue in winter. In addition to the participating teams at the “Handy 2000” World Championship in Montana (CH), there were also representatives there from several other European curling nations. The rules of the game for wheelchair curling were intensively discussed. Finally, the association representatives and players agreed that the same rules as in able-bodied curling should apply but without sweeping, and that delivery from the wheelchair should be with a stick, in the zone in front of the hack. The officials of the International Paralympic Committee, who were present in Montana, gave the input that a woman should play in each team in order to achieve greater acceptance.

World Championship 2008 in Sursee

World Championship 2016 in Luzern