Monday, February 13, 2012

Globe Trotting: Curling

Contributed by Emma Booth.
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Curling is a mixture between bowling, shuffleboard, bocce and sweeping the floor... It is played on ice between two teams of four players, who take turns to slide large heavy stones towards a circular target that has been marked out on the ice. The aim is to get the highest score by getting your stone closest to the centre of the target; and not get knocked out of the way by opponents.

The curler will push the stone down the ice, and there are two sweepers who brush to ice to make the stone move faster, or slower, or change the direction, to ensure the stone lands in the best position possible. It is a very tactical game, and requires a lot of skill and precision. A strategic game, each curler knows exactly where they want their stone to land, and know how to make it land there with inch perfection precision.

It has been said, not by me I hasten to add, that curling is a ‘boring’ sport. However it took my home country by storm when the entire British nation caught the curling bug in 2002. This was when, a sport that nobody really knew about, hit the headlines of every single paper in Great Britain as our women’s curling team beat Switzerland 4-3 in the Winter Olympic Final. Canada is currently the Olympic champions in the men’s division, and Sweden in the women’s... But who knows, maybe 2014 is the year of the United States? If you fancy having a go at a gold medal, get out there and get yourself on a curling team!

For more information on curling, visit USA Curling.

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