Host City: Vancouver, Canada
Venue(s): Vancouver Olympic Centre, Vancouver
Date Started: February 16, 2010
Date Finished: February 27, 2010
Format: Round-robin pool, followed by single-elimination medal round.
As the sport holds a position in the national sporting psyche that places it second only to ice hockey in the nation's affections this was one of the events that Canada had targeted at the outset to win the gold medal, although with stern competition expected from reigning world champions Great Britain (Scotland). Nevertheless both started the competition nervously, Canada with a 7-6 win over Norway which required an extra end, and Great Britain losing 6-4 to reigning European champions, Sweden. As the round-robin phase progressed, the Canadian team, led by [Kevin Martin], won all of their nine contests to finish at the top of their group. Norway and Switzerland, with seven and six wins respectively, also progressed to the semi-finals. However Great Britain were inconsistent throughout and eventually lost again to Sweden, 7-6, in a tie-break match to determine the last semi-finalist.
In the semi-finals, the contest between Canada and Sweden was close until around the halfway stage, when Canada won two points in both the fifth and sixth ends to put them in command, eventually winning the game 6-3. The other contest between Norway and Switzerland was a closer affair, although Norway were never behind. Three points behind going into the last end, Switzerland could only pull back one point to leave Norway the 7-5 winners.
The bronze medal contest, which featured a rare quadruple takeout by Sweden's [Niklas Edin], was very close, with never more than one point difference between the teams. Going into the final end, Sweden led by 4-3, but the Swiss had the advantage of the last stone. Swiss skip [Ralph StÃ¶ckli] scored the two points he needed to win the contest and the bronze medal by 5-4.
Despite their smooth passage to the final some doubts remained about the Canadians and in particular their skip Kevin Martin. Twice before, in the 2002 Olympics and more recently the 2009 World Championships, he had thrown disastrous final stones which robbed his team of the championship. In the event the final was controlled by Canada all the way. The Norwegians, who were now becoming well known for their harlequin design trousers they wore during their contests, found themselves 3-0 down at the half way stage. Although they scored two points on the sixth end, that was as close as they got, as the Canadians immediately replied with two points of their own in the next end, and went on to win the contest 6-3. This had been the first occasion that a team had been undefeated in an Olympic curling tournament since the sport's re-introduction into the Olympics in 1998.