2022 Winter Olympics: Mixed doubles curling Session 1 recap
Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The 2022 Winter Olympics got underway with the mixed doubles competition in curling as all ten teams will fancy their chances of advancing to the medal round.

With four sheets of ice, eight of the ten teams got their tournament underway with victories for Team USA, Great Britain, host country China and the Czech Republic.

Defending Olympic champion Canada and Italy sat the opening session out and will begin play during the second session.

Great Britain 9, Sweden 5

Defending world champion Great Britain started their Olympics off with a 9-5 win over Sweden Wednesday morning on Sheet A.

After conceding the opening game of the match in the first, Sweden took the lead in the second. Almida De Val executed a perfect takeout of GB’s lone rock on the button to go up 2-1.

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GB got the lead right back with a perfectly placed ricochet shot by Jennifer Dodds that landed three stones in the house. An official measurement placed Sweden’s stone just inches closer than Britain’s.

Sweden got a point back in the fourth, and stole two more in the fifth after Dodd’s hammer throw hit the guard and was unable to get into the house.

Great Britain tied it again in the fifth before Dodds and Bruce Mouat put the game away, stealing three points. They stole another in the eighth for the final margin.

United States 6, Australia 5

In a battle of teams that qualified for the Olympics at the Olympic Qualifying Event in December, Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys battled from behind to defeat Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt on Sheet B.

The two teams battled back and forth early, tied 2-2 after four ends. After the US took their first lead in the fifth, Persinger missed a takeout that allowed Australia to get three easy points for a 5-3 lead in the sixth.

The Americans redeemed themselves with a perfectly played double-takeout by Persinger in the seventh to tie the score going into the final end.

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On the U.S.’s final throw of the eighth end, Persinger put the rock right on the button, offering Australia a seemingly easy pick-off attempt with hammer for the win. 

But Gill’s throw missed everything, going wide and through the house to allow to steal the victory.

Czech Republic 7, Norway 6 (9 ends)

Sheet C saw perhaps the biggest surprise as the Czech Republic stunned Norway, the team that finished second at the most recent World Championships.

The Norwegians got a rare steal in the second end after a takeout attempt by Czech thrower Zuzana Paulova missed the crowded house, giving the Norwegian team an early 2-0 lead.

With the score tied 2-2, Norway opted to throw their final stone away in the fourth. The strategy worked, as a measurement showed their rock was inches closer to the button to give them a one-point lead at the break.

The Czech Republic bounced back late as they scored three points in the eight to force an extra end and Paulova and teammate Thomas Paul again stole a point in the ninth for the win.

China 7, Switzerland 6 (9 ends)

Fan SuYan and Ling Zhi, making their international debuts, pulled off the upset against the reigning silver medalists on Sheet D.

The Chinese tried for a takeout in the first, but didn’t put quite enough on the rock for what would have been two. Instead, after a measurement, they settled for one for an early lead.

Fan and Ling stole a point in the second after Jenny Perret's final throw didn’t get past China’s guard rock. China increased the lead with a single point in the third to go up 3-0.

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Down 5-3 in the seventh, China elected to use their power play, of which you got one per game. On their hammer throw, SuYuan threw a perfect hit-and-stick shot to take out Switzerland’s lone rock in the house, allowing for two points and the lead.

Switzerland got one back in the eighth to tie the score again and force an extra end, but China again capitalized on having the hammer. SuYuan had a takeout of Switzerland’s only rock for one point and the win.