Nornickel brings world’s best curling teams to Russia’s Dudinka

The city of Dudinka, located in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory, is about to host the WCT Arctic Curling Cup’s Mixed Doubles that will take place on 24–27 May 2018 with the support of Norilsk Nickel. It will feature ten teams from Switzerland, Canada, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Russia that will compete for the Arctic Cup.

Social investment projects have been NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary’s long-standing priority across its footprint. Since the 2016 launch of the modern Taimyr ice arena sponsored by the CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossary, Dudinka has become a host city for the world’s annual northernmost curling tournament.

Over the three years, the Arctic Curling Cup has evolved from a stage of the World Curing Tour into a major event that serves as the culmination of the global curling season.

This year, the Arctic Curling Cup will be a mixed doubles tournament held following the first-ever Olympics mixed doubles in Pyeongchang. The Russian Curling Federation has chosen this discipline for the Dudinka tournament to feature the newly crowned Olympic champions, including winners of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang as well as world and Europe championships.

The 2018 Tour will be a unique gathering of international teams, with Canada’s renowned world champion Rachel Homan teaming up with Sweden’s Niklas Edin, the winner of the 2018 and 2014 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and Sochi, and a three-time world champion. They joined forces to participate in the tournament. The famous curler Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexey Timofeev will represent Russia.

Taking place alongside the main tournament, the junior WCT Arctic Curling Cup will feature Dudinka and Norilsk teams. The young disabled students of the Dudinka Curling School will battle it out on the ice under the supervision of renowned coaches, senior cup participants, and winners of the latest Olympics and the world championship. The kids will first meet their mentors at Dudinka’s boarding school and treat them to tea and traditional Russian pancakes.

Just as important is the tournament’s cultural aspect. Russian and international athletes and journalists will discover the history and nature of Taimyr, the life and customs of indigenous Arctic peoples, and the northern cuisine.

The Arctic Curling Cup will address a number of significant issues by

  • promoting the Olympic sport of curling among the locals and supporting mass, youth and inclusive sports in the region;
  • giving Taimyr residents an exciting and inspiring experience and a chance to get involved in global sports;
  • showing the world the hospitality and beauty of Russia’s polar region;
  • encouraging the development of the services and tourism infrastructure.

Curling transformed Dudinka, with the Arctic Curling Cup kick-starting many social initiatives. New hotels, cafés, restaurants, public transport routes, and sightseeing programmes by the local history museum appeared in the small polar town (21,000 residents).

Volunteers, as well as students of the Media School and the Blogger School (established with the help of Nornickel), are actively contributing to the tournament. High school students from Dudinka and Norilsk publish thousands of posts and live streams in social and other media, creating a virtual press centre.

Dudinka’s global image has also changed. Up until recently, those few that had heard of it knew it to be a cold town at the edge of the world that was inaccessible without a special permit. Now, athletes from all over the globe are falling in love with Taimyr’s exotic northern charm as they share it on social media. It was the curling tournament that gave rise to the #dudinka hashtag.

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In addition to being a general partner of the XXIX International Winter Universiade that will take place in 2019 in Krasnoyarsk, Nornickel is a partner of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the Russian Olympic Committee and Russia’s Olympic team, Russia’s national football team and the Russian Football Union, the Russian Futsal Association and the Futsal to Polar Region Schools project, the Night Hockey League and the World Legends Hockey League, the Russian Curling Federation and the Curling Arctic Cup in Dudinka. On top of that, Nornickel owns the CSKA professional basketball club and the Norilsk Nickel futsal club.

The Dudinka Curling School was opened in 2016 with the support of Nornickel. It is located at the world’s northernmost ice arena — Taimyr — and has over 100 people (ages 13–65) train under Coach Andrey Zharnikov, an active member of the Taimyr curling team. The trainees include young disabled students of inclusive educational institutions in Dudinka and Norilsk. Currently, the school has three children groups and two adult groups.

One of its students is Eldiyar Omorov, who won the Krasnoyarsk Territory Curling Cup 2016 as a member of the Taimyr men’s team and the event’s youngest participant. Two other accomplished students are Sofia Balanda and Polina Tsaregorodtseva, mixed double curlers on the Taimyr team during the Siberian Federal District’s tournament in 2017.