The de Cruz Team has won several international medals (European silver in 2015, bronze in 2016 and 2017, world bronze in 2014, 2017 and 2019, and bronze at the PyeongChang Olympic Games in 2018). Where did that passion for Curling come from and how did you feel about wining your first Olympic medal ?
Peter De Cruz (PDC), Olympian, captain of the Swiss curling team and ambassador of Lausanne 2020 : Curling is a family sport that is played from one generation to the next. My mother was a great player and after one of her competitions, I decided to subscribe to the Junior Centre of Curling Club in Geneva. My passion for curling started to grow when my friends and I formed a curling team and started traveling for small competitions. To share this experience with my friends whilst being far from home enabled me to develop strong relationships with my teammates and developed my interest for competition.
To compete at the Olympic Games was only a childhood dream – but when you start to perform good results both nationally and internationally, the desire to play at the highest level becomes stronger than ever. It’s hard to do better than an Olympic medal! It means two things to me. First, the accomplishment of a feat with the team and the reward after years of relentless work and sacrifice. We all put aside our private lives for nearly 10 years to experience this moment together – to win an Olympic medal and to tell this beautiful story. Second, I experienced a “before-after” Olympic Games on a personal level. I have always been motivated by results, victory and success at all costs. Today, it is easier for me to detach myself from this pressure, to step back and appreciate my emotions and perhaps to live more difficult moments. I can also say that I have accomplished something in my life and that now everything that comes is a bonus.
What are the skills required to be a good curler ?
PDC : As in all sports, to be a good curler, you need excellent coordination of movements and a great amount of technique. Good physical condition plays an important role in major competitions that often last two weeks, with one or two games per day. Especially for sweepers…. Believe me! A curler also can understand and solve tactical situations under pressure and in a very short time.
You have been appointed ambassador for the 3rd Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. What advice would you give to the new generation of curlers ?
PDC : These young people will remember Lausanne 2020 for the rest of their lives. It is important to take everything this experience has to offer, at a competitive level but also out of the field. There will be hundreds of athletes from all over the world and it is a unique opportunity to discover other cultures, to exchange with them and to make friends with whom they will always have something in common. I have many friends across the world thanks to the sport, and they are the ones I will remember all my life.
© Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi