Monday 27 May 2024

2024 Golden Granite Awards

 #BetweenTheSheets: And The Award Goes To...

Welcome to the 2024 Golden Granite Awards Ceremony

After a brief hiatus during COVID-19, the Golden Granite Awards returned to the curling ice last season.

And while the best post-season tradition may often be imitated, it can never be duplicated!

The Golden Granite Awards were first handed out at the conclusion of the 2015/2016 season.

TwineTime had no idea if the sport of curling would be interested in participating in award season.

But the feedback from the rock heads leaned into the Golden Granite Awards and history was made.

The awards continued in 2017201820192020 and returned last year.

There may be some gap years in between but, as noted last year, you cannot keep a Golden Granite in the hack for too long.

Each day a new category will be announced and the Golden Granite award winner will be revealed.

Yes, it means you have to come back to this blog space daily to check out the winner.

The Oscars are a 5 hour show and you still watch. Why can't the Golden Granite Awards be drawn out over multiple days?

Enough pre-show banter. Time to raise the red curtain and celebrate the return of the Golden Granite!

Remember, for this year's award show the winners were selected by YOU! The rock heads voted for each category and award winners are those who gained the most votes. This year, democracy rules!

Note: The most recent category and award announcement will be top of list in the post, making it easier to find the newest info.

All the previous categories and winners will follow further down this blog post. 😉

Back to our regularly scheduled awards program...


2023 Winners: New Award

The nominees are: The Homan Empire (Team Homan), Canada's "Ineligible Player" (STOH 2024), The Italian Stallions (Team Retornaz), Player Retirements (Jones, Howard, Rizzo)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: The Homan Empire (Team Homan)

Photo Credit: @TeamHoman / X

This was a CLOSE vote folks. Exactly what you would hope for when unveiling a NEW award.

The difference was only 10 votes cast between our Golden Granite Award winner and runner-up (Player Retirements).

But in the end, the Empire takes down the competition.

As they have pretty much all season.

This was a special season for Team Homan. From the stats to the wins to the emotions. It all came together.

But it wasn't just the results. It was the fighting spirit of the team that made the difference.

We all knew this was a stacked team of talent. But after struggling against hefty expectations last season, the rumours started flying and gossip ran amok all over curling centres.

What is going to happen to Team Homan?

Well, the team knew exactly what was going on. And they silenced the doubters, naysayers and trolls with their stellar play all season.

From their opening event to winning the world championship, if you watched close enough you knew this would be a special season.

Skip Rachel Homan had that "look" in her eyes. You know the one. The one that feared the curling world from 2013 to 2018. The "glory 5 years" where Homan was the dominant force in women's curling, winning Scotties titles, world titles, #GSOC titles and the Canadian Olympic Trials.

And then the inevitable happened: Change!

The lineups changed. Family planning shifted focus. And while curling was important, maybe it wasn't the "be all, end all" of the world.

Fast forward almost another 5 years and Homan is back on top with the fire in her eyes and a team hungry for another Olympic appearance.

This season they brought the heat to the ice...and teams should be very worried about the momentum this team has going forward.

Plus, Tracy Fleury has her much deserved championship now. Goodbye monkey on the back. Hello confidence in knowing she can indeed win the "big one" when the pressure is on.

We know new coaching next season as the team welcomes Brendan Bottcher, who will also be Homan's mixed doubles partner.

One could argue, regardless of who is sitting on the bench, this is still the most consistent and strongest team in the curling world right now from lead to skip.

We don't want to look too far ahead BUT should we already chalk them up to the being the 2026 Winter Olympic gold medal favs?

Lots of work to get to Italy of course but the first step has been accomplished: earn a ticket to the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Will the team take their foot off the gas pedal next season, knowing the pressure of the trials is gone?

Or will they go even harder to #DefendTheIce and cement their legacy?

Homan Is Hungry!

And The Homan Empire is taking over. 

Good luck to The Resistance!


2023 Winners: Canada/Scotland

The nominees are: Canada, Norway, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Canada

Should we be surprised?

Since the inception of this award in 2018, only one nation has stood atop the podium.

And 2024 will be no different.

O Canada!

Last year Canada shared the top spot with Scotland, the first time a Golden Granite Award was a tie.

But this year, the rock heads have spoken and Canada retains their #1 spot...solo.

Do not call this a "homer" award either. The Canadians have backed up their overall #1 ranking.

Look at the podium successes of this past season:

  • Pan Continental Curling Championships: Gold (Men)
  • World Women's Curling Championship: Gold
  • World Senior Curling Championships: Gold (Men & Women)
  • World Men's Curling Championship: Silver
  • World Wheelchair Curling Championship: Silver
  • World Mixed Curling Championship: Bronze

Overall, on the world curling stage Canada secured 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal.

The 7 medals from international competitions lead the way this season, with the next closest being 5 overall medals (Norway, Sweden, Switzerland). 

Add in the success of winning this season's Golden Granite Award for Nation of the Year, Canada has the #4peat. Can they make it #5Alive next season and continue to sweep away the competition for this coveted award?

The world is coming on strong. Could another nation make a run to the top?

Watch out for the other finalists of the award this year folks. The gap is closing.


2023 Winners: Team Gushue

The nominees are: Team Edin (SWE), Team Gushue (CAN), Team Retornaz (ITA), Team Whyte (SCO)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Gushue (CAN)

Photo Credit: Curling Canada (Michael Burns)

Is this our first "controversial" win of the post-season awards season?

It might be depending on how you look at the award winners.

The world champions Team Edin? Nope.

The #1 team in the world Team Retornaz? Nope.

The award goes to the Canadian champions Team Gushue!

Team Gushue did make #HIStory this season, becoming only the 2nd team to ever accomplish the Brier #3peat. Joining elite company as Team Ferbey (2001-2003) is something to celebrate.

And, with their results throughout the season, they did finish the year as the #3 ranked team on the final world rankings.

Perhaps 3 is the new 1?

Even if some may be critical of this fan voted award, you cannot diminish the success of Team Gushue this season.

A season record of 44-16, coupled with #DefendTheIce gold medal results at the Pan Continental Curling Championships and The Montana's Brier, is impressive.

Overall, Gushue qualified in 7 of 8 tour events and was a perfect 2 for 2 when reaching a tour final, including winning the season ending #GSOC Players' Championship.

And reaching 3 straight world championship finals is not easy, especially when you first need to survive the competition within the curling hotbed of Canada just to earn a return trip to the world's.

There is that number again folks...3! 3 straight world championship silver medal wins.

Team Gushue also goes back-to-back in winning the Golden Granite Award for Team of the Year.

Hmmm, if the 3 theme carries over to next year, could they pull the Golden Granite #3peat as well?

Of course that may mean winning a fourth straight Brier title and making, at least, a fourth consecutive world championship final. Ugh, that ruins the 3 theme.

Either way, as the fans voted, Team Gushue also earned this award with their stellar results all season.

Can they keep up their winning ways heading into next season and towards the Olympic trials?


2023 Winners: Team Einarson (CAN)

The nominees are: Team Gim (KOR), Team Homan (CAN), Team Hasselborg (SWE), Team Tirinzoni (SUI)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Homan (CAN)

With all due respect to the finalists of this category, the win for Team Homan has to be one of the least surprising #GoldenGranite Award victories in the #HERstory of this category.

After the season they had, this season-ending award is very deserving.

Look at these stats:

  • Season Record of 67-7
  • Won Scotties Tournament of Hearts (11-0)
  • Won World Women's Curling Championship (13-1)
  • Qualified in 6 of 7 tour events
  • Reached 5 tour finals
  • Won 4 tour titles, including 2 #GSOC events (The Masters, Canadian Open)
  • Won PointsBet Invitational 

And then there were the winning streaks throughout the season:

  • Opened the season 14-0 (Sept - Oct)
  • Mid-season 18-2 record (Nov - Dec)
  • End of season 33-3 record (Jan - Apr)
  • 27 straight wins from Jan - Mar
  • 40-1 record vs. Canadian teams (only L vs. Team Einarson - Tour Challenge Tier I in Nov)

#Yikes 👀👀

And we thought Rachel Homan was dominant in the past? This might be stepping up into an entire new stratosphere of domination.

The only *small* dent in the armor is South Korea. South Korean teams went 4-2 vs. Homan this season, with Team Gim and Team Kim picking up 2 wins apiece.

But, on the glass half full side of the discussion, it actually gives Team Homan motivation for next season. Not that they need it! And not that adding logs to an already burning bonfire is a good thing for any of their competition.

On top of the stats and successes of the season, Team Homan's award (as voted by the fans this year remember) is actually the 4th Golden Granite Award for Team Homan in this category.

Team Homan (the various iterations of the team over the years) previously won this award in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Count this win as the #4peat!

Congratulations Team Homan 🥳

Curling fans were in awe over your successes this season. Imagine what they have in store for us next season...and perhaps heading into Cortina, Italy for the 2026 Winter Olympics?


2023 Winners: Team Wang (CHN)

The nominees are: Team Briedis (LAT), Team Ideson (CAN), Team Stordahl (NOR), Team Wang (CHN)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Stordahl (NOR)

It has been a long time coming for Norway's Jostein Stordahl returning to world championship podium.

Heading into the 2018 Paralympic Games, Stordahl was a 3-time world wheelchair champion (2007, 2008, 2017) playing with skip Rune Lorentsen.

The team entered the 2018 games as a gold medal favourite. And while they may have lost the final to home nation China, a gold medal final watched by a record number of sports fans around the world for any Paralympic sport, Stordahl was curling at peak performance.

Fast forward to the 2023/24 season, Stordahl had not reached a podium since those Paralympic Games.

Stordahl reached the playoffs at the 2019 and 2020 world championship but missed the podium. At the 2021 and 2023 world championship, he missed the playoffs completely.

And the 2022 Paralympic Games? Again, Stordalh and his Norwegian teammates failed to reach the playoffs.

For a nation who once led the way in wheelchair mixed curling, Norway was in a slump.

But this season Stordahl rediscovered the magic from the past and not only led his team and nation back to the wheelchair curling podium, now they reclaimed the world title for the first time since 2017.

It was not an easy world championship path to success though. They started the competition 3-0 but then suffered a 3-game losing streak to sit at .500 midway through the event.

They finished the RR with a 4-1 stretch to make the playoffs as the #5 seed with a 7-4 overall record.

The playoffs hit differently though and the team really found their groove. They knocked off South Korea in the QF, defending champion China in the SF and last year's silver medal team from Canada in the final.

For the now 58 year old Stordahl (he just celebrated his birthday in May), it is his 4th world championship. And he did so with some familiar faces, reuniting with past teammates Geir Arne Skogstad and Ole Fredrik Syversen.

Vice Skogstad won his 3rd world championship this season (2007, 2008). Second Syversen won his 2nd title (2017) while lead Mia Larsen Sveberg won a first title.

Stordahl's gold medal also put his atop the world wheelchair career podium marker for Norway, handing his his 6th world championship medal (4G, 1S, 1B). He has been a member of every Norwegian team to medal at the event since its inception in 2002.

And he moved into a tie for second all-time in world championship medals, one behind China's Wang Haitao (7 - 3G, 1S, 1B).

They say when the band gets back together, the reunion tour can sometimes be better than the original. For Stordahl, it took the right combination of band members to reclaim the top of the world wheelchair podium and tie Norway for most world championships all-time (4, tied with Russia).

Lets also give props to the athleticism of Stordahl and Skogstad.

Did you know Stordahl has also represented Norway on the international paralympic stage in Sailing?

Skogstad is also a dual athletes, representing Norway in para ice hockey, where he won Paralympic silver in 2002 and a world championship in 2004.


2023 Winners: Team Marie Kaldvee / Harri Lill (EST)

The nominees are: Team Kaldvee / Lill (EST), Team Koana / Aoki (JPN), Team Lott / Lott (CAN), Team Wrana / Wrana (SWE)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Marie Kaldvee / Harri Lill (EST)

Photo Credit: World Curling Federation

#DefendTheIce? How about #DefendTheGoldenGranite?

We have our 1st back-to-back Golden Granite Award winners folks.

And a deserving accomplishment for one of the most consistent mixed doubles teams over the past few seasons.

Estonia's Marie Kaldvee and Harri Lill won this award last year, highlighted by their playoff appearance at the 2023 world championship.

How could they possibly win this award for a second straight season?

Maybe by reaching the 2024 world championship final, winning a silver medal and finishing the season ranked #1 in the world?!?!

Plus...the fans voted and the Estonian duo is an official #FanFav!

There really is no debate on the award winners here though.

They finished the season with an impressive 44-18 record, including winning 2 tour titles and reaching a 3rd tour final. They also finished 3rd at three additional tour events.

At the 2024 world championship, they started strong with 3 straight wins only to suffer 3 straight losses. Sitting with a 3-3 record and their playoff dreams hanging by a threat, Kaldvee/Lill won their final 3 RR games to reach the playoffs with a 6-3 record.

In the playoffs, they knocked off Canada's Lott/Lott, a fellow #GoldenGranite finalist for this award, and one of the best MD tandems on the world over the past 8 years, Norway's Skaslien/Nedregotten (whom they had lost to in the RR).

Yes, they ran out of steam in the world final. But losing to Sweden's Wrana/Wrana is nothing to hang your head about though.. Winning a silver medal for Estonia, the first world medal for the Baltic nation, is a HUGE #growthesport moment.

Could this podium finish lead to more curling success for the tiny Eastern European country?

Estonia is a nation with deep roots in medieval civilization. This may be the sounding of the alarm from this MD duo, ready to take down their world counterparts and fight towards another world, and possible future Olympic, top of the podium.


2023 Winners: Team Rayad Husain (GUY)

The nominees are: Team Abe (JPN), Team Kapp (GER), Team McEwen (CAN), Team Park (KOR)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Kapp (GER)

When you open the season ranked #52 in the world and, for the majority of the team, still eligible for junior competition, competing for a world men's championship seems very unlikely.

Heck, when you are not even the top ranked team in your nation and faltered at a Euro qualifier, those world championship aspirations feel even further away.

But do not say that to Germany's Benny Kapp and his young team from Fuessen.

Remember what they did at the world championships in Switzerland back in April.

After winning the German championship and directly competing in, and winning, a playoff vs. top contender/main rival Team Totzek, Team Kapp punched their ticket to Schaffhausen.

They entered the world championship as the #10 seed in the 13 nation field. To say expectations for a playoff push were unexpected may be an understatement.

Kapp shocked the system with their impressive 8-3 RR record, not only qualifying for the playoffs but qualifying as the #4 seed.

They knocked off defending world champ Scotland's Team Mouat and the #1 ranked team in the world Italy's Team Retornaz in the RR as well. The loss for Mouat was one of only two losses they suffered in the RR. And the loss for Retornaz ended up knocking them down to the #5 seed for the playoffs.

Kapp also knocked off the host nation, Team Schwaller. A loss that ultimately cost Schwaller a playoff ticket.

Sure the Germans lost in the QF game to Italy but they still ended up with the Top 6 finish at their debut world championship...fresh off a disappointing finish at the World Junior Curling Championships.

The key to success this season for Team Kapp may have been the addition of Marc "Mukki" Muskatewitz. Mukki has European and world championship experience. His experience and calm demeanor coupled with the high #NextGen energy of the remaining members of Team Kapp became a winning combination.

It was a slow start to the season for Team Kapp, losing their opening 6 games of the year and struggling to find their footing on the ice.

But the trip across the pond to Canada proved to be just what the curling doctor ordered.

The team reached a tour final in Beaumont, losing to eventual AB champs Team Sluchinski. They also went 4-3 at the always competitive Okotoks Classic, including scoring victories over Japan's Team Yanagisawa and Team Morozumi.

The Euro qualifier loss was a set back...but only helped accelerate the comeback.

They reached another tour final in Bern and ended the 2023 calendar year with a tour title in Aberdeen.

The modest season record of 36-27 can be deceiving. Ultimately moving up the rankings to finish the year #25, making the playoffs at a world championship and securing huge Olympic qualification points for Germany are the real successes.

And, for a team who started outside the Top 50 in the world to begin the season, how many of you thought those successes were possible for Team Kapp?

Shout out to second Felix Messenzehl. He made his rookie world championship appearance one to remember. He became a highlight reel with some of his shots throughout the week.

He also curled 85% in the RR, good enough for 4th in the field at his position.

If this team can build off the momentum from this season heading into next season, watch out!

Germany could on the slide path back to international curling success folks. You heard it here first!!


2023 Winners: Team Dupont (DEN)

The nominees are: Team Han (CHN), Team Henderson (SCO), Team Schwaller (SUI), Team Sturmay (CAN)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Han (CHN)

In the season preview blog post, #TwineTime listed China's Team Han as a #TeamUpset challenger to watch out for this season.

Starting the season ranked #179 in the world and making a return to competitive curling ice for the first time since the 2023 World University Games (where they won gold btw), it was unknown how the team would perform.

The results spoke for themselves...and the rock heads now reward the results with a much-deserved Golden Granite Award.

It was a gradual return to the curling world for Team Han this season. They only competed in 4 tour events. But look at the results.

4 playoff appearances. 2 final appearances. 1 tour title. 2 additional SF results.

Not to mention making their debut at the Pan Continental Curling Championships, where they dominated their B-Division competitors enroute to a gold medal and promotion to the 2024 A-Division. In their 6 games played (5 RR and gold medal game), they outscored their opposition 78-8!

Ok, sure they were competing against more developing nations and debut teams but still. It is an impressive stat nonetheless.

For those nations competing in the A-Division this upcoming season, your path to the world championship just got a lot more difficult.

Overall, Team Han's return to the ice culminated in an overall season record of 28-5.

Yes, that is correct. Only 5 losses this season.

And of those 28 wins, some came against higher ranked teams like Team Fujisawa, Team Cameron, Team Gray-Withers, Team Kanai, Team Brown, Team Kitazawa and fellow Golden Granite nominee Team Sturmay.

Missing out on Olympic qualification points this season due to competing in the PCCC B-Division means China will need to take the long road to the Italy for the 2026 Winter Olympics.

However, based on how Han returned to the game this season, earning PCCC A-Division qualification and being a real threat to earn a ticket back to the world championships, do not underestimate their ability to navigate that path to Cortina folks.

They represented China on home ice at the 2022 Winter Olympics, just missing the playoffs with a 4-5 record remember. This is a very dangerous #TeamUpset challenger heading into next season.

Watch. Out.


2023 Winners: Team Lee (KOR)

The nominees are: Team Briedis (LAT), Team Duris (SVK), Team Marchese (ITA), Team Villau (EST)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Duris (SVK)

Photo: WWhCC2024 - World Curling (Ansis Ventins)

Rewind your curling memory to the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championship.

Prior to this past year's championship, 2021 was the last time Radoslav Duris skipped Slovakia at a world championship.

How did the team do in 2021? They finished 3-8 for 10th place and relegation to the 2022 B-Division.

At the time, luckily the 2021 world championship result would not displace Duris from a 2022 Paralympic ticket where the team would reach the playoffs and lose the bronze medal game to Canada.

Slovakia did not send a team to Finland for the 2022 B-Division competition, resulting in the nation remaining in B-Division for 2023.

At last year's B-Division event, held in Finland in November, Duris played the position of vice and the team finished the RR with an 8-2 record. They finished tied for 1st place but wound up in 3rd entering the playoffs after losing their RR games against their fellow 8-2 competitors (Estonia, Italy).

Duris would earn revenge in the playoffs though, knocking off Italy in the SF and Estonia in the final to win B-Division gold and secure Slovakia a place in the 2024 world championship.

In South Korea this past March, Duris would take over the skipping duties again in hopes of perhaps qualifying for the playoffs but also, more importantly, earning Paralympic Winter Games qualification points and avoiding relegation.

The team finished the RR with an impressive 5-6 record, good enough for 7th place overall and just outside the playoff cut line.

The team earned enough wins though to remain in the A-Division and picked up valuable Paralympic points.

For Duris, 2024 was his 8th world championship appearance. And he has already represented Slovakia at the past 2 Paralympic Games.

To go from the disappointment in 2021 to a strong result at the 2022 Paralympic Games to taking the long road back to world championship ice and now being in a positive position for a 4th Paralympic Games about resilience!

Team Duris remains a world wheelchair team to watch out for and keeps Slovakia on world wheelchair competitive map.


2023 Winners: Team Martine Roenning / Mathias Braenden (NOR)

The nominees are: Team Cotter/Cotter (CAN), Team Han/Zou (CHN), Team Koana/Aoki (JPN), Team Reese-Hansen/Chester (CAN)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Koana / Aoki (JPN) 

Photo: WCT Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup II Champions
With all due respect to the other mixed doubles pairings nominated in this category, the fans took notice of the Japanese duo making their debut and rewarded their strong, albeit maybe surprising, season. When a team goes 31-3 on the season and wins 5 tour titles, a Golden Granite Award seems right.                                                             
The season marked the return to competitive ice for Tori Koana. The recently turned 29 year old (her birthday was May 25) was a strong up and coming skip in Japanese women's curling.

Prior to the COVID years, Koana was one of the main challengers to Team Fujisawa. In fact, Koana won the Japanese women's championship in 2018 and skipped her team at the 2018 World Women's Curling Championship.

Coming out of the COVID years, Koana turned her attention to family and became a mother to a baby girl. Curling fans wondered when, or if, she would return to the ice.

Hello 2023/24 curling season!

She partnered up with Go Aoki, almost forming a 2018 championship throwback tandem.

Aoki (24) is no stranger to success, having also won the 2018 Japanese Men's Curling Championship and representing Japan at the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship.

Once they hit the ice together, they started taking titles from opening slides.

They won their first four tour events played, picking up victories over top ranked teams like Jones/Laing, Matsumura/Tanida, Walker/Muyres, Skaslien/Nedregotten, Paetz/Michel and Weagle/Epping.

Their record in their first four events from October - December 2023: 28-1!

In their debut season!!

They were tripped up in Halifax to start the 2024 calendar year, failing to qualify but recording a huge win over Kaldvee/Lill. And we know what kind of season they had!

They entered the Japanese Mixed Doubles Curling Championships as one of the teams to beat and entered the playoff round with an impressive 8-1 record.

But upsets happen and the heavily favoured duo were upset in the SF by Onodera/Maeda, a team they had previously defeated in the RR.

They did capture the bronze medal however and wrapped up their season with another tour win in Latvia at the beginning of April.

One can only imagine what this duo may have accomplished at the 2024 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships had they won the Japanese championship.

This is a dangerous duo heading into next season...and towards a push for Olympic qualification.

They may have caught the curling world off-guard this season but expect them to be a Top 5 team throughout next season.

They already went from unranked to #4 in the world in one season!

Congratulations Team Koana/Aoki. What a magical and impressive season.

We are ready to see what you accomplish next season.


2023 Winners: New Zealand

The nominees are: England, Jamaica, Lithuania, Philippines

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Jamaica

It has been said numerous times since the Jamaica Curling Federation launched in 2020: Welcome to Cool Runnings 2.0.

A few years later, Jamaica is making a path towards success...and curling fans are noticing.

Jamaica first hit the curling ice at the 2023 Pan Continental Curling Championships, competing in the women's B-Division competition in Kelowna.

Talk about a debut!

Not only did the team make #HERstory by securing their 1st international win in their 1st international game (21-0 over Kenya) but they made the playoffs with an impressive 4-1 RR record. The RR included victories over Brazil and Hong Kong, two nations who competed in the 2022 PCCC A-Division.

The strong RR record secured them 2nd place heading into the playoffs, where they would defeat Brazil for the second time in the tournament and reach the final.

At their debut event!

And while they came up short against a strong Chinese team in the gold medal game, the overall results earned the team a silver medal and momentum heading into next season.

Huge props to Cristiene Hall-Teravainen, Madeleine Spurgeon, Margot Shepherd-Spurgeon and Stephanie Chen for not only showcasing Jamaica as a #growthesupport success story but for planting the Jamaican flag inside the curling ice as a growing nation to watch out for.

For more information on how this team came to be, check out the news story HERE, which included a few ignored telephone calls before finally putting all the pieces together. 🤣

For Spurgeon, her international #HERstory wouldn't end in Kelowna. Partnering with Ian Robertson, Jamaica competed in a second international event this past season, entering a duo in the Mixed Doubles Qualification Event in Scotland in December.

They may have failed to qualify for the playoffs but they did create more history in picking up 2 wins (def Wales and Portugal) for a final RR record of 2-4, good enough for 5th place in their 7 nation pool and a final placement of 18th out of 26 nations. Worth noting, 2 teams from their pool (China and France) ended up qualifying for the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship from this event.

On top of the results on the ice, the Jamaican Olympic Association officially welcomed the Jamaican Curling Federation into the nations Olympic family in February 2024.

To say Jamaica is running on ice would be an understatement. They have high aspirations for success, starting with being more active on the international curling scene in 2024 and a goal of qualifying for the Winter Olympics by 2034.

Jamaica, welcome to the international curling arena. As the second Caribbean nation accepted by the World Curling Federation (Guyana was the 1st in 2016), the world is cheering you on.

And the curling fans have voted Curling Jamaica as the #TeamUpset of the Year - Nation Golden Granite Award winner.

Bring on 2024 and continued success.

Which nation will surprise the curling world next season? Any guesses?

Everyone grab your drink and take your seat. Our show is ready to begin.

Welcome to the 7th Annual Golden Granite Awards

The 2024 Golden Granite Awards will be highlighting some of the best moments of the 2023/2024 curling season.

From those #TeamUpset results to top moments of the season, this award show celebrates them all.

And while not every team/athlete will walk away with a coveted Golden Granite award, remember it is always a compliment to even be nominated.

There will be 12 categories to be presented. And TwineTime will be celebrating all disciplines, from 4-person to mixed doubles to wheelchair.

Plus recognition for those nations who, collectively, owned the sport throughout the entire Season of Champions.

Lets get to our first award.

As has become Golden Granite tradition, we start our award show with the Grant Hopley Award.

This is a very special award for TwineTime and the #CurlingFamily as we annually celebrate the life of curling fan Grant Hopley and recognize him for the social aspect he brought to a venue, whether through volunteering or being a fan in the stands.

If you are unfamiliar with the history behind the naming of this iconic award, check out the full story HERE.

This award is solely based on the feedback from the fans. The same people who pay to watch the sport and help make the sport special.

Fan engagement is a key element to sport and curling is no exception.

While you may have great results on the ice, what you do off the ice can be just as valuable in winning over fan support.

And teams are starting to take notice. With TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms making it easier for teams/athletes to engage with their biggest supporters, this award celebrates those who did it best over the past season.

Grant, we think of you at every curling event. As you continue to cheer on the sport from your special bird's eye view above, we continue to curl on with you in our hearts


2023 Winners: Team Homan

The nominees are: Team Dupont (DEN), Team Gushue (CAN), Team Hasselborg (SWE), Team Homan (CAN), Team Hood (NZL)

And the #GoldenGranite goes to: Team Dupont (DEN)

Photo Credit: @teamdenmarkcurls IG

This was a bit of a surprise, not going to lie.

But perhaps winning the Golden Granite Award for #TeamUpset of the Year last year propelled the Danish champions into another winner's circle in 2024?

Naw, who is the blog kidding. This award is fully deserving for the work Team Dupont puts into their instagram account.

Do you STILL not follow them @teamdenmarkcurls? You SHOULD!

What may set them apart from their fellow finalists is not only the posts but the behind the scenes IG stories.

The team lets you in on the "Life of a Curler".

From practice sessions to life on the road to travelling around the world to hanging out with family and friends, you really see it all from Team Dupont.

Plus we saw glimpses into the welcoming of a new baby as skip Madeleine Dupont became a mother this season with a healthy baby boy.

And who can forget the dance parties! 💃💃

The team does not just focus on results and thanking sponsors and dropping their season schedule.

There is SO MUCH MORE to fan engagement...and they seem to understand that.

While having fun!

Plus, we give special shout out to those teams who run their own accounts as players.

No knock on those teams who are able to have a Social Media Squad backing them. Props to those teams and those working behind the scenes to help #growthesport and add fun creative content to those team accounts.

But, based on the voting results of this season's Grant Hopley Award, curling fans also recognize and appreciate the raw details of athletes posting for themselves and being themselves.

Simple authenticity wins the day for this year's Golden Granite Award.

Congratulations Team Dupont!

Full props and congratulations to all 6 nominees. To be even nominated for this award, fans had to respond on social media to the #TwineTime call out for nominees.

Receiving a nomination means fans are noticing, and appreciating, the social media work being put out on the ice from these 6 teams.

Great work on a great season.

The question now is...Can Team Dupont retain this award next season?

And who will step up to challenge them?

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