Making Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2014

To the outsider, creating the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships (ECC) event might seem simple and straightforward.

However, the amount of work that goes into creating the ECC can be very surprising. A large number of people are involved in making sure everything is planned out - down to the last detail - so that nothing is left to chance. Here is a look at what it takes to create the ECC by the numbers.

130 Million

The number of households that the Word Curling TV’s (WCTV) main broadcasting sponsor, Eurosport, reaches each day. Eurosport is the only pan-European channel, broadcast in 59 countries, translated into 20 different languages, and on average, with a viewership of 17 million people per day.

1.2 Million Francs ($1.2 million USD)

The budget for the entire event set at the beginning of the planning period for the Local Organising Committee (LOC).


The number of deliveries of curling stones by athletes recorded and analysed by the team of statisticians who are responsible for all of the data and stats for the A Division round-robin games. This number does not include the games down at the B Division venue, play-offs or medal games. The team works arout 10-13 hours a day producing all the stats that are sent out to the media, officials and coaches for every game.

Photo: The CurlIT statistics team hard at work

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The approximate number of bed nights here in Champéry, Switzerland for Le Gruyere European Curling Championships 2014. This means that the average number of people staying in the town per day is 600, each staying for 10 nights. According to Françoise Vannay-Furer, Secretary General of the Local Organising Committee, all of the hotel beds in Champéry have been completely booked. Many people have rented apartments or flats, finding any housing they can to be able to watch the Championships live.​


The number of times world-renowned ice maker Hans Wuthrich and his team scrape and pebble each sheet of ice, ensuring that it is consistent for every game throughout the Championships. Along with his his team, they spend up to 17 hours each day at the arena. Wuthrich started working as an ice maker back in 1976, and in those 38 years, some have come to call him the best ice maker in the world. To this he replies: "I’m not the best, but there are only a few who work on the level that I do.”

Photo: Hans Wuthrich - the Ice Master!

©WCF/Flannery Allison


It took over 5,500 litres (1,320 gallons) of water to create the ice used for the games.

Photo: Pebbling the ice

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The number of news media outlets who receive WCF press releases. Using a team of reporters and photographers, the WCF Media and Communications Team creates a press release that roundup each session, which include interviews with some of the athletes and statistics from the games. This release is then dispatched to news outlets all over the world. Thousands of photos are also taken each day, a selection of which are made available to WCF Member Associations and media organisations through the WCF Image Library.

Photo: WCF trainee journalist Sarah Lane interviewing Czech Republic skip Jiri Snitil

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The number of days this event took to plan. According to Françoise Vannay-Furer, it was announced that Champréy, Switzerland would host the 2014 European Curling Championships after the ECC 2011 in Moscow, Russia. After this announcement, the Local Organising Committee met once a month to plan the event, make sure the arena meets every qualification set by the WCF and the European Curling Federation, and ensure the facility can handle an event of this size.


The number of seats available for spectators to watch the games. Fans from all over Europe come to see their teams at these Championships. Some, like fans from host country Switzerland, are more present than others.

Photo: The fans are crucial to all curling events

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The approximate number of athletes and coaches that attend the Championships. There are 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams in the A Divisions and 16 men’s and 10 women’s teams in the B Divisions. Each team has four players, one alternate, team coaches, national coaches along with a number of other support staff such as sports scientists, physiotherapists and team doctors.

Photo: Some athletes are louder than others out on the ice

©WCF/Richard Gray


The number of volunteers working for the Local Organising Committee. Each one has a unique job to do - anything from arranging transportation to and from the event to cleaning the arena after each round.


The average number of hours most of the volunteers are working each day. With three games each day and sometimes four, most are there from 07:00 to 22:00, sometimes even midnight. Even though there are breaks between games, most find there is always a job to be done.

Photo: Volunteers provide the backbone of all curling events

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The number of television screens in the production truck. The World Curling Television (WCTV) crew creates 48 hours of live broadcast coverage during the Championships. This coverage is then transmitted to other sports networks. Every station broadcasting the event uses the footage created by WCTV. The crew consists of over 40 people, creating live feeds from nine different cameras set up in the arena.

Photo: The live WCTV production

©WCF/Flannery Allison


The number of people on the Local Organising Committee responsible for planning the majority of the event. Each committee member is responsible for a different department, including finance, logistics, communications and administration.

Photo: The ECC 2014 Local Organising Committee

©ECC 2014 Local Organising Committee
Planning the Le Gruyere European Curling Championships is no easy feat. The amount of planning and preparation involved, before the athletes steps on the ice, can be overwhelming. Once the event begins, it takes a new level of work and dedication to keep things running smoothly, from the administration to the broadcast production. Despite the high intensity work, creating this event is most definitely worth it for most in the end.​

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