The only athletic ability I possess (if you can call it that) is walking. I am not talking about power walking or hiking, just plain old walking. Sometimes even that proves difficult for me and I have been known to trip over air and bump into doors. Wait a second, how could I forget…somehow I have managed to develop a mean backhand in tennis and I do enjoy kicking my husband’s butt on the tennis court (I can do this because he hits the ball to me and does not force me to run or make sudden turns to return the ball…ha!). While I understand sports like baseball and football, I do not watch them. I do enjoy an occasional golf tournament and I love watching tennis. That is the extent of my athleticism and knowledge…sad, but true. Given this, I know I am the last person who should be making fun of or questioning the validity of an Olympic sport. However, since I’ve been feeling a bit sassy and confrontational lately, I am going to anyway.
I sat down to watch television yesterday and the Winter Olympics were on. Since I was tired and did not feel like looking for the remote, I decided to watch for a few minutes. The event they were broadcasting was Curling. As I watched, I seriously could not wrap my head around what the point of Curling was and why it was considered an Olympic sport, or any sport for that matter. To me, it just looked like some guy pushing what appeared to be an oversized hockey puck with a handle down what looked like a oversized foosball table made of ice and some guy screaming. The two “sweepers” just looked weird, wildly sweeping the ice with their little brooms in front of the puck. It appeared they were trying to land the puck in this bulls-eye thingy at the end. I mentioned how I did not get it and my husband tried to explain it to me, to no avail. We both laughed, I made a really off-handed remark, which I will not repeat, and left the room shaking my head. I felt compelled to write a Facebook post directed at Curling letting it know that I felt it was a strange game and I just did not get it. Later that evening, my sister-in-law updated her Facebook status asking someone to explain Curling to her. From the responses we got (one of mine was “LOL”), nobody gets it. So, heaven help me, I decided to do a little research.
After typing “what is curling” into Google, I found numerous explanations of the game and its origins. After researching, I still do not understand it, nor do I want to. The oversized hockey puck is called a curling stone and is made of granite and the game is played on perfectly manicured ice. The sweeping is to heat the ice, causing less friction between the stone and the ice so the stone glides more easily toward the bulls-eye thing. Again, what is the point? Apparently, it is a game of strategy (likened to chess in some of the info I read). Most anyone can play…even pregnant women. I bet I could play if I wanted to. I’m not sure I could be the sweeper (bad shoulders, crouching and all), but I could sure as heck be the one who yells at the sweepers and tells them what to do. I have a lot of practice in that department (not with sweepers, with kids).
In my research I came across a funny quote by Charles Barkley. He said, “Curling is not a sport. It made me laugh as I pictured my mother Curling. I couldn’t believe there were quotes on Curling, (mostly in support of the game), such as, “If Curling were easy, they’d call it hockey” (yeah, right). There were also a lot of curling blogs and many curling web sites. From the web sites I visited, I am not alone in not understanding the sport, as each of them encouraged the reader to sit and watch an entire game (how painful) in order to fully understand and appreciate it. Um, I don’t think so. To those who understand curling, enjoy watching it or play the game, I say more power to you. However, my five minutes of watching, an hour of research, a facebook and blog post is all you are getting from me.
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