It IS called a broom!

Welcome to the 2nd of ... well, maybe only 2 posts on the Olympic event of Curling.

In my early attempts to learn more about this sport I have to admit that I likened it to Trigonometry: I knew it existed, but that is really where my interest ended. Now though, as our nieces are involved and I am getting many inquiries from friends all over (thanks @lacaptainkey and @farwriter on twitter) on exactly what Curling is, I feel I need to look a bit deeper than Wikipedia to find out.

It seems that Curling's home is in Scotland. While it likely originated in the Netherlands, Scotland made it "their" event in the 1500's and the Scottish immigrants coming to Canada brought the sport with them.
(Hmmm, does Scotland still have a curling team? I wonder if they will be representing in Vancouver? Must check...)

Curling is played on a sheet of ice with 4 "players" and granite "stones" that weigh no more than 44 lbs. One player slides ("delivers") a stone down the ice gives and gives it a slight spin upon release. The ideal amount of spin should cause the stone to make no more than three full rotations as it travels the length of the ice. The spin allows the stone to travel in a curved path as it approaches the target "house" on the ice It's called Curling because the curved path is called the curl. How much a stone curls depends on the amount of spin, the speed of the stone and the ice conditions. 2 of the other players help the stone along down the ice with a curling "broom" by sweeping the ice at the commands of the captain ("skip").

I don't know about you, but while now I have about 85% more info than I used to have, I am still way less than excited about Curling. I need to find some interesting tidbits, or Curling gossip or some famous curlers to help my interest... what brings people to this sport? Is it the endorsements? The intoxicating freezing temps of the ice? The skimpy (see diagram) yet warm outfits the players get to wear?

I will find out for us all. Stay tuned for a much needed 3rd installment.

The countdown is on--only 5 days until the Opening Ceremonies!


  1. Captain Key said...

    I think curling is right up there with golf and croquet (sp?) in terms of spectator sports for me.  

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