Curling: The Forgotten Olympic Sport

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When the Winter Olympics rolls around every 4 years, most people are pumped to watch sports such as bobsled, the various skiing competitions, and snowboarding. However, one of the most intense sports of the Olympics, known as curling, is often swept under the rug. While the United States is usually not the strongest contender in the particular sport, the athletes competing are, by no means, weak.

Curling, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, boules and shuffleboard.”

Although some consider it to be boring to watch, most can understand the skill necessary to score points and win competitions. Robby Zarouni, an avid olympic sports watcher, put in his two cents about the sport.

“I mean, I would rather watch alpine skiing or figure skating, but I do appreciate the efforts of those who curl”.

In this article, I am focusing on one specific curling athlete that competes for the U.S., and is competing in this Winter Olympics. John Shuster is an American curler who has competed in several Olympic games. I asked several classmates and one teacher to get their opinions on this obscure sport.

First, I asked Mr. Del how he felt about the sport. Surprisingly, he had a lot to say.

“It is phenomenal. The skill required to sweep the ice at a slow but fast pace in order to control the stone is crazy”.

Although Del’s passion is admirable, the next few students I interviewed lacked the same knowledge and interest about curling.

Michael Zellif, a senior at WMC, did not know exactly what to say when asked.

“It is kinda strange. I can’t name one athlete”.

It is a little sad that these athletes, such as John Shuster, put so much effort just to not be recognized by the public, but teachers like Del prove that there are some avid curling watchers who truly appreciate the sport.

While Zeliff knows little about curling, Victor Cochrane, also a senior, expressed his admiration for the athletes.

“They are underestimated… you need some serious skill.”

That was a short quote, but it displayed the well deserved recognizition that these athletes strive for. This next quote however, is more vague in what it is trying to convey. Said by senior Neil Macintyre, it leaves a lot for interpretation.

“(Curling) epitomizes Canadian humor”.

It is interesting that Neil feels this way, as curling has Scottish origins. Whatever he meant by that, hopefully he understands its vague and possibly false nature.

If I were a curling athlete, I would feel like I would be upset with the lack of attention my sport receives, especially based off of how hard all the athletes train just to get to the Olympics, let alone win any medals. However, if it was a sport that I truly loved and wanted to succeed at, I think that would be enough to keep me practicing.

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