BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The president of World Curling Federation (WCF) Kate Caithness praised the Chinese organizers did "first-class job" in hosting the ongoing World Women's Curling Championships 2017 here on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency.
Beijing has successfully held the men's World Championships in 2014 at the same venue, Capital Gymnasium, and it was also the first world championships of any winter sports which was held in Beijing after the city won the bid for 2022 Winter Olympics in July, 2015.
Caithness spoke highly of the Chinese organizers, saying they did "first class" job and helped more people in China "understand the sport".
"I'm so happy that so many young people coming attending the event, they are curling's future," said Caithness.
Since China planned to involve 300 million people in winter sports in the years leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics, Caithness is looking forward to see more Chinese people participate in curling. However, she admitted that the lack of facilities maybe one of the biggest obstacles.
"Curling ice is totally different (from other winter sports), we must have dedicated curling facilities, for us the biggest challenge is to make sure we have many more dedicated curling facilities to allow people come to play it,"
She added that the WCF intended to bring a group of technical officials and ice makers to teach how to make the best ices in China. On the other hand, she recommended that school children could have a try at floor curling, similar to curling but off the ice.
Caithness had visited the National Aquatic Center, dubbed the "Water Cube" which held the swimming events at the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. In 2022, this venue will be transformed to ice rink for curling games, which, to the WCF boss, was a good idea.
"We all speak of the legacy of Olympics and Paralympics and this is a great legacy. It's an iconic building in Beijing and they have used it for so many events. To be able to use the same building and transform into winter sports must be one of the first time in history. From swimming pool to a curling rink is very exciting," Caithness said.
Although the Chinese team didn't start well in this year's World Championships, suffering a three-game losing streak in the first two days, Caithness thought it was not the team's real level.
"I have been to Sapporo for the Asian Winter Games, and both your men's and women's team won the gold. You know in sports, you have ups, peaks, and troughs. To be fair, the games are really close, maybe the players are too nervous in front of home crowd.
"In 2009, they won the World Champions in Gangneung, I was there to present them the gold medal. hopefully in the future I can present them the gold medal again," Caithness said.