Winter Olympics 2018 on TV: curling guide, event schedule and Team GB medal hopes

How does curling work, and what does it take to win? Find out how to watch Team GB's men and women at Pyeongchang 2018 live on BBC and Eurosport

(Getty, JG)

What is curling, and how does it work?

Think of curling as lawn bowls… on ice. The aim of the game is to get more of your ‘stones’ closer to the bullseye (called a ‘house’) than your opponent.

Advertisement

Each team throws eight stones in a round, with points decided only after the final stone is thrown. A game is made up of ten rounds (known as ‘ends’ in curling).

The captain of the team – the ‘skip’ – decides on strategy and issues instructions to the rest of the team. But the tactics can be incredibly complex, with teams sometimes trying to set up blocks to stop their opponent scoring, or smashing their rivals’ stones out of the target area.

“Each end is like a game of chess,” says Steve Cram, a true curling convert who will be in the commentary box for the BBC in Pyeongchang 2018. “The person who throws first is setting up the end, always thinking two or three moves ahead. You’re also reacting to what the other team are doing – you see players try to make big shots, blasting the opposition stones out of the way or squeezing past them more deftly.”

Why is it called curling?

The person throwing the stone will gently twist it as they release it. This rotation will mean the stone ‘curls’ slightly to the left or right as it travels down the ice.

What’s with the sweeping?

Brushing the ice in front of the stone makes the stone go faster and curl further. It means that teams have much greater control of the stone even after they’ve let the throw go. The skip will tell the sweepers how much and how hard they need to sweep. Watch the video above for more.

Who’s on Team GB’s curling team?

There are two GB teams competing at Pyeongchang 2018, a men’s and a women’s team.

The women’s team is made up of the same team that won bronze in Sochi four years ago.

Eve Muirhead is the skip. She’s 27 years old, and this is her third Winter Olympics. Her Dad Gordon was also a curling champion, so the sport runs in the family.

She’s joined by Anna SloanVicki Adams, Lauren Gray and Kelly Schafer.

The men’s team is led by 22-year-old Kyle Smith, with his younger brother Cammy also in the team.

Brothers Thomas and Glen Muirhead (yes, Eve Muirhead is their sister) are in the GB men’s team, with Kyle Waddell completing the five-strong line-up.

Can Team GB win a medal?

Both the men and the women’s team have a great chance at competing for medals, according to former Olympic curler Jackie Lockhart.

“This year, without a shadow of a doubt, the girls will be on the podium,” she says. I’m really confident they can go one better than in the last Olympics and get to that final.”

The women’s team won bronze in Sochi 2014, but will be aiming to make the Gold Medal game this time round.

As for the men, “a medal is definitely not out of the question” according to Lockhart. “They’re a very young team and some people are saying it’s an Olympics too early for them. I don’t go along with that. If they can withstand the whole circus of the Olympic Games then I’ve got a hunch they’ll do really well. They’ve performed brilliantly on the world circuit and they’re coming into good form.”

When to watch Team GB’s curling teams live on TV?

The men’s and women’s curling competition begins on Wednesday 14th February 2018. The competition is made up of a series of round robin matches, with play-offs, semi-finals and finals to follow.

Check out the full schedule for Team GB’s curlers below. All matches will be broadcast live on the BBC and Eurosport – check listings for full details.

Women’s Team GB curling matches and schedule – watch live on BBC and Eurosport

Wednesday 14th February 2018

5.05am: GB vs Olympic Athletes from Russia

Thursday 15th

00.05am: GB vs USA

11.05am: GB vs China

Saturday 17th

5.05am: GB vs Denmark

11.05am: GB vs South Korea

Sunday 18th

5.05am: GB vs Sweden

Monday 19th

11.05am: GB vs Switzerland

Tuesday 20th

5.05am: GB vs Japan

Wednesday 21st

00.05am: GB vs Canada

Thursday 22nd

00.05am: Women’s tie-breaker games

Friday 23rd

11.05am: Women’s semi-finals

Saturday 24th

11.05am: Women’s bronze medal game

Sunday 25th

Women’s gold medal game

Men’s Team GB curling matches and schedule – watch live on BBC and Eurosport

Wednesday 14th February 2018

00.05am: GB vs Switzerland

11.05am: GB vs Canada

Thursday 15th

5.05am: GB vs Japan

Friday 16th

11.05am: GB vs Sweden

Saturday 17th

5.05am: GB vs South Korea

Sunday 18th

11.05am: GB vs Italy

Monday 19th

5.05am: GB vs Denmark

Tuesday 20th

00.05am: GB vs Norway

Wednesday 21st

5.05am: GB vs USA

Thursday 22nd

00.05am: Men’s tie-breaker games

11.05am: Men’s semi-final games

Friday 23rd

6.35am: Men’s bronze medal game

Saturday 24th

Advertisement

6.35am: Men’s gold medal game