That thing where they slide on the ice and brush a bit of granite into a circle? Really?! Are you feeling OK? Yes, Yes I am. It’s my new obsession.
Once every 4 years, the Winter Olympics rolls into a snow covered town, and we are reacquainted with lots of sports that we couldn’t do in our wildest dreams, or even our nightmares. From ski jumping to speed skating, ice dancing to ice hockey, the brave, the elegant, and the crazy are rewarded for their skills and the courage in the pinnacle for winter sports. And there is one sport that floats so far off the radar you could be forgiven for thinking it had become extinct, but every 4 years, we sit glued to our screens with levels of knowledge and investment that we had forgotten existed and will do again. The sport? Curling!
Curling: ‘A sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles.’ Teams of men and women, and now mixed doubles, compete across a series of individual games called ends, aiming to get the most scores (or stones in the house nearest the middle) per end, and thus finish with a higher score than the opponents. It’s incredibly simple in it’s premise, but in reality, the logic and the skill required to read angles, ice speeds, the curl of the stone, and the tactics of each shot choice make it a fascinating and enthralling sport to watch.
It only takes a quick look on twitter at #curling and there is a multitude of witty remarks about the sport that’s been sweeping (geddit?!) the nation. There are so many people that catch a glimpse of some ice sweeping, and don’t get it. They say it’s boring, that it doesn’t make sense, and that it requires next to no physical ability. And then, 2 hours later, they’re so invested in the match they accidentally caught that they have started to understand the unusual lingo, and they have started to pick up the finer intricacies of the game. Nothing sums it up better than the following tweet:
But, if we’re being honest, did this not happen 4 years ago, and 4 years before that? I really love curling, I have watched as much of the televised curling during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as I can, because both Emma and I had enjoyed it in 2014, and in 2010. This begs the question, when did the obsession in the UK really start? It’s huge in Canada, and big in Russia and Scandanavia, but not so much in the UK until the Olympics rolls in. I think it’s all about 2002. My parents, and many others like them stayed up ridiculously late to watch Scot Rhona Martin win Britain’s first Winter Olympic Gold with the last stone of the last end, and since then we have all been hooked. If you haven’t seen the moment, watch it here:
That’s all I have to say really, I just wanted to have a bit of a curling love in really!
Have you been watching and enjoying the Winter Olympics?
What have you enjoyed?