Monday, January 10, 2011

News from Sweden

Jalle Jungnell, Sweden's long time skip, announced after Vancouver that he would be retiring from international competition. Fortunately for those who care about the sport at the World level, he has returned to his national side, this time as coach.

"Tomas Nordin (coach in Vancouver) would have been the ultimate choice for coach, we all feel, but he can not be away from work all the time that would be necessary," Jalle told me. "Tomas is still in the team, as an assistant coach during our training camps in Sweden."

Thomas Wilhelm, the husband of lead Anette (who also retired after Vancouver) is team manager.

The team is:

Glenn Ikonen, skip
Patrik Burman 3rd
Patrik Kallin 2nd
Kicki Uhlander lead
Gert Erlandsson  alternate

"So, with three players from Paralympics, and me and Thomas as staff, it's pretty much the same faces, but at least myself in a different role," Jalle said.

"Kicki is not totally new, as she played for Sweden 2007 and 2008. Gert also played 2007 when there was a different team representing Sweden at the Worlds in Sweden.

"Where we stand ....? We don't know, and Scotland (Lanarkshire International) will be really interesting for us."

Jalle is one of the true gentlemen in our sport, happy to share his knowledge and insights, appreciating that at this stage of the sport's development, athletes must be ambassadors and evangelists even while competing.

He has this to say about funding.

"It was interesting to read about the huge funding Scotland and Canada, had and have. We Swedes are in a totally different league. We got aprox. $50.000 for preparations for Vancouver, and have a total budget for $25.000 this year.....and that includes the Prague Worlds.

"We are supposed to be a rich country, but we are definitely not spending the money on curling."

Despite this comparative lack of financial resources, Sweden have won two bronze medals at the Paralympics and a silver at the 2009 Worlds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thinking of staff, who is on the Team Canada staff this year?