Nancy McInerney, Kevin Martin, Olds Mayor Michael Muzychka, Chelsea Carey and MLA Nathan Cooper pose for a photo during the ticket launch for the Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup in Olds from April 29 to May 3 in October. The event has been rescheduled for 2022. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Nancy McInerney, Kevin Martin, Olds Mayor Michael Muzychka, Chelsea Carey and MLA Nathan Cooper pose for a photo during the ticket launch for the Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup in Olds from April 29 to May 3 in October. The event has been rescheduled for 2022. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Olds misses out on Champions Cup again, event penciled in to return in 2022

They say waiting is the hardest part for curling fans in central Alberta, and the wait just got a little longer.

In September of 2019, Olds was announced as the host of the 2020 Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup, an event that brings together 24 elite men’s and women’s teams from across the world.

That event was originally scheduled for April 29 to May 3, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the event was cancelled and shifted to 2021.

It has now been moved to 2022.

In a press release, the host committee said pending updates on contractual agreements, the event will now be hosted at the Olds Sportsplex from May 4-8, 2022. With the postponement, they have also made the decision to refund all tickets purchased for the event.

The first four events of the 2020-21 Grand Slam season were already cancelled last spring.

Sportsnet, the main sponsor for the Olds’ event has decided to hold the Champions Cup in a bubble format in Calgary.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will likely kick things off in the bubble in late February. The Tim Hortons Brier is expected to be played in early March, followed by the mixed doubles competition.

All games will be held on the Olympic-sized ice at the Markin MacPhail Centre.

“Exploring the hub city concept allows Sportsnet to support curlers as they return to the game they love, while delivering world-class competition to fans across Canada,” said Rob Corte, vice-president of Sportsnet and NHL Production.

“The safety and well-being of all those involved, including players, staff and organizers, will be of primary importance as we work hand in hand with our partners and health officials to host a safe and responsible event for all.”

–With files from The Canadian Press.