The Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, from November 19-26, will put the seal on an unparalleled year of sport in 2016, which has seen no fewer than 14 Olympic and Paralympic champions and more than 40 medallists compete in EventScotland-supported events.
In a year of prestigious sporting occasions, during which the global stars of athletics, cycling, gymnastics, swimming and tennis touched down in Scotland, spectators have been treated to an incredible opportunity to witness top class sportsmen and women compete at the peak of their powers.
Indeed, in taking to the ice at the intu Braehead Arena, Scotland’s Tom Brewster, Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams will take the number of medallists from the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games to compete in events supported by EventScotland in 2016 to 43, with well over 50 individual medals to their names.
A first outing in 2016 for Olympic hero Mo Farah at the Great Edinburgh XCountry in January, and subsequent 3000m victory at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix, was soon followed by a gold medal performance by fellow double Rio champ Max Whitlock at the Glasgow World Cup Gymnastics.
Our domestic swimming stars were next to descend on Glasgow, with the likes of soon-to-be-crowned 2016 Olympic champion Adam Peaty taking to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre pool for the British Swimming Championships.
As the golf season got underway, events such as The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and The Open Championship in July attracted stellar fields to Scotland, the Home of Golf, which featured the Rio men’s 1-2-3 in Justin Rose (gold), Henrik Stenson (silver) and Matt Kuchar (bronze).
Just as strong a line-up assembled for the opening stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain, which took place just two weeks following the closing ceremony in Rio. Three gold and four silver Olympic medal winners - including Bradley Wiggins, Owain Doull and Mark Cavendish - made the 104-mile journey from Glasgow to Castle Douglas during stage one of British Cycling’s premier road race.
Not to be outdone by her male counterparts, Scotland’s Katie Archibald followed up her own Olympic success with Madison gold in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in front of a bumper crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Just weeks earlier, the neighbouring Emirates Arena had welcomed new world No.1 and two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray for a second David Cup semi-final sell-out in as many years.
Olympic fever was also felt at the Blair Castle International Horse Trials, Great Scottish Swim and Strathclyde ITU World Paratriathlon, which collectively featured a number of athletes who went on to compete at or had recently returned from Brazil.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
“Over the past 12 months, Scotland has really proved itself as the perfect stage for events, welcoming soon-to-be or newly crowned Olympic champions and other medallists for an unsurpassed variety of sporting occasions.
“In no other year in recent memory has the country been able to offer sports enthusiasts so many individual opportunities to witness the very best athletes in the world, and we have been rewarded with huge audience turnouts across the board.
“More than participating in world-class events, sportspeople decide to compete in Scotland due to the enthusiasm of our spectators and they have truly made 2016 another highly memorable year for sporting events.”
Ahead of the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, Sochi 2014 silver medallist and Scotland skipper, Tom Brewster, said:
“It really has been an incredible year for events in Scotland and sports enthusiasts have been fortunate in the number of world stars who have been attracted to compete here.
“Regardless of which sport you compete in, the difference a supportive crowd can make is huge and I think that is one of the reasons that Scotland is so attractive for sportspeople. We also have an abundance of incredible facilities which, in the run up to the Olympic Games, helped many medal-winning athletes complete their ideal preparation for Rio.”
Brewster, who is also the Manager at Curl Aberdeen, which will host the World Junior Curling Championships in 2018, added:
“With four major curling occasions on the horizon, starting this weekend at the intu Braehead Arena, it’s an incredibly exciting time for our sport. The Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championshipsoffers the first opportunity to engage the next generation of curlers as we build towards the World Wheelchair Championships in 2019 and the Men’s World Championships in 2020, and I’m sure the legacy of this event will be felt for years to come.”
Bruce Crawford, Chief Executive of The Royal Caledonian Curling Club, the governing body of the sport in Scotland, said:
“Scotland is playing its part in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games by hosting the European Curling Championships at intu Braehead Arena.
“The top eight men’s and women’s European teams at Braehead will earn a place at the World Championships in March/April 2017, where the teams will be playing for Olympic qualification points. We hope to give Scotland’s teams a home advantage in Braehead and where will be a great home crowd. Tickets are still available on ticketmaster.co.uk.”
OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS AT EVENTSCOTLAND-SUPPORTED EVENTS IN 2016:
Thiago Braz da Silva
Men’s Pole Vault
Paralympic Men’s Long Jump
Paralympic Men’s 4x 100m Relay
Men’s Team Pursuit
Men’s Team Pursuit
Women’s Team Pursuit
Men’s 100m Breaststroke
Men’s Singles Tennis
Paralympic Men’s Triathlon
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
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- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
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2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
- 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- Join the conversation at #IAD2016