Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Because, curling!

One of the sports I really had to see at my first Winter Olympics was curling.

Why? Why not! Who can resist a sport where a requisite skill set is aggressive sweeping?

Whatever is going on, it's really intense

Plus, Homer and Marge Simpson once curled…

This is the Curling Arena in Sochi (actually, Adler), Russia:

You have to wonder about the utility of the whole thing. How often will a curling arena in Russia be used, especially after that whole awkward Crimea incident? Will the Russian Curling Team decamp to Sochi year-round and work on their sweeping technique?

I don't mean to make light of a sport that obviously requires a lot of practice, skill and has some somewhat obscure rules that I won't even pretend to understand (here's the Wikipedia article for those who want to know more). It was actually kind of fun sitting in the middle of a rabid audience of a sport where I really didn't have a clue what was going on. Aside from all the maniacal brushing, there's a really cool part where the guy or gal holding the thing that looks like a stone tea kettle slides across the ice in this deep lunge (they wear special shoes for this). It looks both uncomfortable and kinda Zen:

Then he lets go of the stone tea kettle, and the maniacal sweepers try to direct it into the target area, or into the other team's stone tea kettles.

Okay, I was pretty confused by all this.

I could tell when something good happened for the British team, though. That's because this row of ladies in front of is would sing a little song when good things happened. It went something like this:
We'll be coming,
We'll be coming,
We'll be coming down the road
When you hear the voice of the Tartan Army boys
We'll be coming down the road
Here are the British Ladies:

I think the Brits won, though to be honest, I can't remember for sure. I do know that the Chinese team did really well—one of those obscure Olympic sports they've been working on to up the medal count. But why not? It's kind of cool to see something this weird become a global sport.

I'm just sorry that I didn't get to see the Norwegian team…

Lisa…every other Wednesday...


  1. I was lost when Stan and Dan used to rage on about cricket (of the non-jiminey) sort, but now with you and Caro (her post turning this into the curling channel, I better go treat my kettle with more respect.

  2. Hah, yes, I read Caro's post -- I mean, who knew all the stones came from one place? I do think more teams need to take a cue from the Norwegians though, and up the crazy uniform quotient.

  3. Well, curling in kilts would be the obvious uniform, if a little drafty! A good way to think about curling is chess on ice. It's the stone after the stone after the stone you are about to play that is the one the skip is thinking about. You can tell I'm an expert (not) but I can tell you that you do need to have good knees to play it. And to wear a kilt....

  4. Lisa, I can't comment on curling, unless it is to say "That is what my hair is always doing." But I do have a thought about uniforms. I would have my team dress like the Beatles on the Sergeant Pepper album cover. I would like to see a tournament that had winners for costuming.