OCTOBER 5, 2022
Following September’s announcement of the first eight pages in the 12-month 2023 Curling Cares Fundraising Calendar, the remaining four months, comprising 15 athletes, have been confirmed.
The cover image features all four members of the new Team Tirinzoni, the three-time defending world women’s four-player champions from Switzerland. The stunning black and white image was shot by World Curling Federation staff photographer Céline Stucki.
"For us, it was clear from the beginning that we wanted to do the shooting with Céline” said second thrower Carole Howald. “Unfortunately, the studio we booked cancelled at the last minute and we had to organize a new place quickly.”
There were surprises at the new venue, too.
“An employee at the location wanted to bring us an extension cord,” said Howald. “At the same time Alina (Paetz, fourth thrower) went to get changed and then, by accident, bumped into him.
“He had no idea what kind of shooting it was … and didn’t know where to look!”
It’s the second appearance in the Curling Cares calendar for Paetz and skip Silvana Tirinzoni, and the first for Howald and new team member Briar Huerlimann. The squad is raising funds for the ABQ school project in Switzerland.
WCF shooter Stucki also took the calendar photos of Italy’s Amos Mosaner, the Olympic champion in mixed doubles from Beijing 2022.
Sara England, eldest daughter of Canadian curling legend Sandra Schmirler, is the second of four reveals and appears in a very special image shot by Regina Leader-Post photographer Troy Fleece.
The image appears in the calendar month of February, which marks 25 years since Team Schmirler captured Olympic gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games.
“This was the first time I’ve experienced a professional photo shoot, and it was so much fun,” said England, who appeared in multiple Canadian Junior championships and now competes with Team Ashley Howard.
England led a small army into the fields of Saskatchewan – Fleece, his lighting assistant, a hair and makeup technician, and Sara’s younger sister, Jenna. “Everyone there made me feel so comfortable and confident behind the camera,” said Sara. “I’m so glad I got to do it.”
Both Sara and Jenna are well known ambassadors for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, which was founded one year following Schmirler’s death in 2000. Two additional months in the 2023 Curling Cares Fundraising Calendar have also selected the Foundation as their designated charity: Saskatchewan’s Rylan and Madison Kleiter, and German men’s team skip Sixten Totzek.
The next name to announce is another legend who departed the curling world far too soon. A tribute page to Norwegian men’s skip Thomas Ulsrud is included in the 2023 edition, following the popular competitor’s death in May 2022 at the age of 51.
Ulsrud, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic silver medallist and 2014 world men’s champion, appeared in two previous Curling cares calendars – by himself in 2014 and also with his longtime teammates in a memorable 2018 image. Proceeds from sales of the 2023 edition will be donated to a charity of the Ulsrud family’s choice.
The 12th and final month to be announced features no less than nine athletes in total: the members of Ukraine’s national women’s and men’s curling teams.
At the outbreak of war last February, the Ukrainians – who represent a developing curling nation – were training for the European C-Division Championships to be hosted in Lithuania. With the assistance of their Estonian coach Erkki Lill and numerous sport stakeholders including the WCF and Swedish Olympic Committee, the teams escaped to Finland, where they were housed, fed, equipped and given facilities for remote training.
The Ukrainian teams successfully competed in Lithuania, with the men’s team going on to win an unexpected silver medal and qualify for this fall’s European B-Division Championships.
The teams were then relocated to train in the summer in Salt Lake City, USA before moving yet again this fall, to Estonia.
“This Ukrainian curling story is incredible, and it’s a story that continues,” said George Karrys, Editor-In-Chief at The Curling News/Sports Illustrated. “The generosity of the curling world is on display just as is the courage and talent of these displaced athletes.
“Many people are hoping there’s another medal in store at the next Europeans, because that might open more doors for them to continue training into the new year. At this point they are entirely reliant on donations from the curling world, and no one knows when they can return home.”
The Ukrainians’ proceeds from sales of the 2023 edition will be donated to a charity of the athletes’ choice.
Calendars can be purchased at the website curlingcares.com and cost CDN $25.00 each plus taxes, shipping and handling. Some athletes appearing in the calendar are selling copies themselves, and can be reached directly through their social media channels.
The full 2023 Curling Cares Fundraising Calendar lineup of 25 curling competitors is:
Amos Mosaner (ITA)
Andrea Kelly (CAN)
Sixten Totzek (GER)
Kristin MacCuish (CAN)
Rylan and Madison Kleiter (CAN)
Yumi Suzuki and Kaho Onodera (JPN)
Lori Eddy and Mary Chilvers (CAN)
Team Tirinzoni (SUI)
Jon Thurston (CAN)
Sara England (CAN)
Thomas Ulsrud Tribute (NOR)
Team Ukraine W/M (UKR)
Since 2014 the Curling Cares fundraising project has raised over CDN $700,000 for multiple charities in 10 different countries.
Selected previous editions of the Curling Cares Fundraising Calendar including its previous titles – Women of Curling and Men of Curling – are available from TheCommunityFundraiser.com by special request.