Friday, December 27, 2013

Day 271: 10 Things to Know about Curling

There are 42 days until the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty freaking excited about the games. For two weeks in February, I'll become more of a couch potato than normal and I will be obsessed with just about everything Olympics. Even the curling.

If you've never given curling a chance, I highly recommend it. I really have no idea what the point is or how a team wins, but there's just something about the big stones and big brooms and the special shoes and the sweeping that sucks me in every time. Fortunately for us, Yahoo! has put together a list of the 10 things you should know about curling. Now we'll know about the big stones and the brooms!!
1. Curling originated in Scotland in the 15th century and was played on frozen lakes. It debuted as a demonstration sport at the first Winter Olympics held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. After a 50 year absence, it was included in the 1988 and 1992 games again as a demonstration. 
2. Curling wasn't named an official Olympic sport until the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan. The US has only earned one medal—a bronze in 2006. 
3. Like just about every other sport, the events are separate for men and women. 
4. The curling surface is 150 feet long and 16.4 feet wide. There is a bullseye target known as the "house" at each end. 
5. Special shoes are worn with one slippery sole for the slider foot and one gripper sole to provide traction on the ice. 
6. Curling stones are 44 pounds and granite with a handle on top.  
7. The sweeping... the thing that is most confusing for me. The two sweepers use the brooms to sweep in front of the stone and create a layer of water allowing the stone to hydroplane across the ice. Sweeping can control the curl of the stone and direct it into position. 
8. Each game has 10 "ends." An end involves a four-player team playing eight stones, two per player. 
9. Only one team can score in each house per end. A point is scored for each stone with any portion inside the "house" that is closer to the center bullseye than the opponent's stones. And you can knock the enemy stones out of the way!
10. Curling will run from February 10 - 21 at the Ice Cube Curling Center during the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
Now do you want to watch? Curling just got a whole lot more interesting for me... I can't wait to cheer on the sweepers!

1 comment:

  1. Hurry hard!!! I love curling! I love the precision, but it's so weird! Both teams are in close proximity and have mics so they can hear each other's strategies. Bizarre. After about ten years of watching, I'm still in awe of why it sucks us in.

    But the Olympics in general...I'll be on the couch with you!