Host City: Sochi, Russia
Venue(s): Ice Cube Curling Center, Adler
Date Started: February 10, 2014
Date Finished: February 21, 2014
Format: Round-robin pool, followed by single-elimination medal round.
Since curling was reinstated as an official Olympic sport in 1998, the Canadian men had finished either first (2006 and 2010) or second (1998 and 2002) in every tournament, and had not placed outside of the top two in the World Championships since 2004. Ranked number one in the world, the nation was a favorite in the tournament, but its skip, Brad Jacobs, was relatively less distinguished, with only the 2013 Canadian National Championship and a silver medal from the last World Championship under his belt. Niklas Edin, number two ranked Sweden’s skip, was much better known\: aside from being the defending World Champion, he was third in 2011 and 2012, European Champion in 2009 and 2012 (and runner-up in 2011), and had finished fourth at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Ranked number three in the world was Great Britain, skipped by two-time World Champion (2006 and 2009) and 2010 Olympian David Murdoch.
Edin’s rink emerged from round robin play with the best record, 8-1, its only loss having been a surprising defeat at the hands of Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne. Canada and China, skipped by Olympic veteran Liu Rui, automatically advanced to the playoffs, while Murdoch had to win a tiebreaking match against 2010 Olympic runner-up Thomas Ulsrud of Norway in order to progress. In the playoffs, the closest match was the semifinal between Great Britain and Sweden, who were never more than one point apart the entire game. Murdoch, however, was able to able to come from behind and score two points in the final end, relegating the favored Swedes to a bronze medal match against China, who had lost their own semifinal against Canada 10-6. China and Sweden went neck and neck for the third podium spot, but Edin managed capture the final two ends, which catapulted him to victory.
The gold medal game was no contest\: Jacobs was up 5-1 by the end of the third end and 8-2 at the conclusion of the sixth one. At their earliest opportunity, the end of the eighth end, the British team conceded with a score of 9-3, giving Canada its third consecutive Olympic curling gold medal. With Jennifer Jones’ victory the previous day, the nation finally achieved the goal it had set out to achieve 16 years ago, winning both Olympic curling gold medals in the same year, and became the first country to do so.