I know, I know you are at the edge of your seats watching the world mixed doubles live scoring from St. Paul, Minnesota. Canada's team of Robert Campbell and Rebecca Jean MacDonald from Spud Island have bowed out in a tie-breaker loss to Demark to end their run at 5-4.
Why is there mixed doubles anyway? It is all about the Olympics.
If you want a new sport added to the Olympics the International Olympic Committee says:
1. It has to have women competing
2. It has to appeal to youth
3. There shouldn't be more capital costs incurred for a host committee.
Mixed doubles does all that.
1. By definition women make up half a team.
2. If you look at the photos of the team members from the 24 countries competing in St. Paul most are young.
3. Because mixed doubles can be played quickly you could use the same venue as team curling.
Now the IOC has already rejected mixed doubles when it was proposed by the WCF. It didn't have a track record the IOC said. It has to have been played for a while and by lots of countries. So the WCF obliged. The WCF is involved in the annual Continental Cup where North America plays the world. One of the events is mixed doubles.
The mixed doubles is an open competition - any WCF member country can send a team.
Why include it in the Olympics? Money, money, money. The IOC gives member sports federations some of the money it gets from broadcast rights. The IOC and WCF closely guard the exact figure. The last figures I could find were from the 2002 Salt Lake City winter games. The IOC shelled out $85.8 million to the then seven winter sports federations. The more versions of your sport were involved, the more money your federation gets. You see what the WCF is thinking.
Vancouver's right went for $820 million. Speculation has the broadcast rights for the Sochi-Rio games at $1.7 billion.
You can promote curling around the world pretty good with a hefty check every four years. Mmmmm...little rocks mixed worlds anyone?