After gripping the nation during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the roaring game of curling returns to our screens with the 2014 European Championships in Champéry, live on British Eurosport.
Held every year since 1975, the event is open to very best men’s and women’s teams from across the continent and both of Great Britain’s medal-winning teams, competing in Scottish colours, will be in action over the week-long championship, which is being held in Switzerland for second time in its 40-year history.
As often is the case in the post-Olympics season, many nations are fielding new teams and experienced skips are heading new line ups as their sights are now set on the next Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.
Eve Muirhead and her Scotland women’s side will be looking to build on the impressive bronze medal they claimed for Great Britain the Winter Olympics earlier in the year in Russia.
Her rink has also changed too with Claire Hamilton stepping away in May and Sarah Reid the replacement alongside Vicki Adams, Anna Sloan and alternate Lauren Gray.
Their biggest test as a new rink is about to begin with the European Championships set to start in Switzerland where last year, as Scotland, Muirhead started on fire but had to settle for silver.
Following the frenzy of attention following their Winter Olympics success, Muirhead believes the team is now fully focussed on their next goal of more medal success in Pyeongchang.
But the European Championships will the team’s first aim and Muirhead’s rink has reached the final in the previous five editions of this competition, claiming one gold and four silver medals.
In 2013, Scotland’s women went undefeated on their way to the final, but were beaten to the gold by Sweden, and despite having a new younger line-up this time around, the Swedes will still represent tough competition for the Scots.
Hosts Switzerland, who took bronze 12 months ago, will also be strong despite the loss of their experienced skip Mirjam Ott, who retired after the Olympics.
In the men’s competition, Scotland will be skipped by David Edwards after his quartet beat Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch at the Scottish national qualifiers in October.
Under Murdoch, the Scottish men took bronze in Stavanger last time round, while hosts Switzerland are the defending champions having surprisingly beaten the highly-fancied Norway side in the final.
The Scots have the best overall record in the men’s European Championships with 25 medals, including 12 gold, and although they won consecutive gold medals in 2007 and 2008, Sweden and Norway have dominated the competition in recent years.
There is other home nations interest at the event, with England entering men’s and women’s rinks in the non-televised B-Division, where the Welsh men also have representation.
After the summer break, curling roars back onto British Eurosport this week with the European Championships and the pan-European broadcaster will screen selected matches live during the course of the event in Champéry.
Live coverage starts on Monday, November 24, featuring live coverage of Scotland’s key round robins matches in both the men’s and women’s competition across British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2.
The online subscription service Eurosport Player will have additional live action throughout the event, including exclusive live coverage of the men’s and women’s finals on Saturday, November 29, with highlights following in the evening on British Eurosport.
Live coverage will also be available to watch for free via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel – World Curling TV.
.Monday 24th November GERMANY v DENMARK (Women) LIVE: 8.30am-11.00am British Eurosport SCOTLAND v GERMANY (Men) LIVE: 1.00pm-4.00pm British Eurosport RUSSIA v SCOTLAND (Women) LIVE: 6.00pm-9.00pm British Eurosport 2
Tuesday 25th November RUSSIA v GERMANY (Women) LIVE: 11.15am-2.00pm British Eurosport 2 NORWAY v SWEDEN (Men) LIVE: 3.00pm-6.00pm British Eurosport GERMANY v SCOTLAND (Women) LIVE: 7.30pm-10.05pm British Eurosport
Wednesday 26th November NORWAY v GERMANY (Men) LIVE: 8.00am-11.00am British Eurosport SCOTLAND v SWEDEN (Women) LIVE: 1.00pm-4.00pm British Eurosport
Thursday 27th November Round-robin Match TBC (TBC) LIVE: 8.00am-11.00am British Eurosport Tie-Breaker TBC (TBC) LIVE: 1.30pm-4.00pm British Eurosport 2 Men’s / Women’s Play-offs LIVE: 6.45pm-9.00pm British Eurosport
Friday 28th November Semi Finals LIVE: 12.00pm-3.00pm British Eurosport Third-Place Matches LIVE: 6.30pm-9.30pm British Eurosport 2
Saturday 29th November Women’s Final LIVE: 9.00am-12.00pm Eurosport Player Highlights: 9.00pm-10.00pm British Eurosport Men’s Final LIVE: 2.00pm-5.00pm Eurosport Player Highlights: 10.00pm-11.00pm British Eurosport