Monday, August 22, 2011

Di Iorio, Harrison to work with Russian curlers

News will be released officially in the next couple of days, but it appears that Neil Harrison and Lino Di Iorio will be hired by the Russian Curling Federation to work with the national teams in that country.

I spoke with both men on Monday from Russia where they’ve been working with the men’s teams at a clinic. While they haven’t signed their names on the contact yet, they expect to in the next 24 to 48 hours. Harrison will handle the strategic aspect of the game while Di Iorio will take over the technical side. This comes after a plan to bring Randy Ferbey over fell away.

Di Iorio told me that he was contacted by a Russian official, who asked for the names of some possible coaches for their team as it prepares for the Olympics. Di Iorio, who developed a innovative and logical delivery method that has been met by rave reviews among those who to whom he’s taught it, offered up Harrison’s name on strategy and said the only person he could recommend for the technical side was himself because all the rest were teaching the CCA’s methods, which he believes are not scientifically beneficial for any player.

After submitting a proposal that was met with positive reaction, he told the Russians that he and Harrison would travel to Russia on their own dime and show them just what he was capable of. That’s the trip they’re on right now and it’s paid off.

Despite admitting they were not ready to win a gold medal right now, Di Iorio was full of optimism for the Russian curlers.
“They are exceptional athletes,” he stated. “They can slide, they can sweep but right now they’re having trouble hitting the broom. That’s what we’ll correct. I’m confident we can get them throwing consistently.”

Harrison was equally positive. “Once they start hitting the broom, the strategy becomes a lot easier,” said the former world champion who will travel with the team to B.C. next month as they play some events.

Asked if there was any trepidation over the sudden change of heart shown Jason Gunnlaugson, Harrison said he wasn’t certain of all that went on with that deal but that both sides have out clauses that can be exercised.

“Right now, it’s a three-year deal with the aim of the Olympics,” Harrison said.

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