I've never considered curling to be a serious sport. How can sliding a 45 pound stone along a sheet of ice be a sport? What's up with these men and women scrubbing the ice with a broom to make the stone slide in a particular direction? Seriously. Curling, a sport and at the Olympics? No way.
I decided I should check curling out before I poked more fun at it. I bought a ticket on, where else, ebay and Friday afternoon I sat for three hours in the bleachers caught up in curling.
Let's start with the fans. All 5,000 seats at the Vancouver Olympic Center were filled and each section seemed to represent a country. Switzerland was right across from me. I was sandwiched between Canadian curling fans, U.S. faithful and Denmark. Norway was loud and raucous across the curling field. So when Canada beat Denmark 10 to three, the bleachers shook with Canadians stomping their feet and cheering. Curling, it turns out, is a big deal in Canada. In fact, the head of Canada's Olympic Committee told me that Canadians are either born with hockey skates on their feet or curling brooms in their hands.
Curling is also about funky fashion. Check out the pants of Norway's curling team. How can you not love a competition where argyle rules?
Curling is an intelligent game and it takes a lot of upper body strength. I was told by an amateur curling player that curlers burn 1,800 calories per game.
So I've revised my opinion about curling. I'd like to try this game which seems to be the one Olympic event that anyone could do. But I better try curling here in Canada where it's popular like American football. Highlights from Friday's match up? Canada solidly beat Denmark. The U.S. men won by a point over the French and Norway, with their catchy pants, won over China.