It’s still early in round-robin play for the women’s curling tournament at the 2022 Winter Olympics, but through three sessions, two teams have established themselves at the top of the pack.
Switzerland and the United States are the only unbeaten teams remaining, both starting off a perfect 3-0.
Every team will play each other, with each squad playing nine games in total. The top four teams at the end of round-robin play will advance to the semifinals.
Switzerland came into the Games as the defending world champions. Alina Paetz’s team has played three close games so far – a 6-5 win over Great Britain, a 7-5 win over China, and an 8-7 win over the team from the Russian Olympic Committee – but one of those wins came over a team that was also expected to contend for a medal at these Games. ROC finished second to Switzerland at the most recent world championships.
Team USA’s early Olympic success has been a bit more a surprise, though maybe it shouldn’t have been. Tabitha Peterson’s team so far also has a win over ROC, as well as victories over Denmark and China.
The U.S. has yet to play a 1-point game, defeating ROC by six, Denmark by two, and China by four.
Even though the U.S. has never won a medal in women’s curling at the Olympics, Peterson’s team finished third at the most recent world championships, and came into the 2022 Winter Games with the best possible chance at getting on the podium of any American team in recent history.
Behind Switzerland and the U.S. is a log-jam of six teams all with one win. Of those squads, only one -- Great Britain -- has played three games. The others -- Canada, Denmark, Japan, South Korea, and Sweden -- all have just two under their belts.
Sweden is the defending Olympic gold medalists. In the last Games, Korea won silver and Japan won bronze.
Canada entered the Olympics looking to avenge a lackluster 2018 that saw the women’s team land off the podium at the Olympics for the first time since curling began in 1998.
Later that year, the Canadian team skipped by Jennifer Jones -- who was not on the Olympic team -- went on to win the world championship.
After two other disappointing finishes for Canada in the 2019 and 2021 world championships with different teams, Jones again returns to captain the team.
Perhaps the biggest early surprise of the Olympics is ROC, sitting at the bottom of the standings at 0-2. Despite the losses, the Russian Olympic Committee also got their two toughest games against the top teams out of the way early.
A team from Russia has also never won a medal in Olympic women’s curling.
The U.S. will play three games in two days before getting an off day on Monday. They’ll next play Great Britain, followed by Sweden, and South Korea.
The remaining women’s curling schedule for the 2022 Games can be found here.
OLYMPIC WOMEN'S CURLING STANDINGS
1. Switzerland (3-0)
1. USA (3-0)
3. Canada (1-1)
3. Denmark (1-1)
3. Japan (1-1)
3. South Korea (1-1)
3. Sweden (1-1)
8. Great Britain (1-2)
9. Russian Olympic Committee (0-2)
10. China (0-3)