Curling: Bringing a touch of community to the 2010 Winter Olympics

Curling may be the perfect Canadian game said Stuart McLeanI heard him say that yesterday, on his weekly, nationally-syndicated CBC Radio show the Vinyl Cafe. And how appropriate is it that this community-oriented game is given a high profile, as an official athletic event, in the corporate-influenced 2010 Winter Olympics, which start this Friday in my neighbour city, Vancouver!

With his warm sense of humour, and ability to connect with common things, Stuart paints a story of why curling is a sport of the people:

  • Curling fosters fellowship
  • Open to, and played by, anybody; young, old, female, male,
  • Every game begins and ends with handshake
  • There is no referee (at least at local level); a gentleman’s game (and “ladies game”)
  • More than any other sport, it is about community; sport at its best (no free agents!)
  • You get to yell; who doesn’t like to yell, and how great is it to be able to yell hurry hard in public!
  • The winning team traditionally buys the losing team a drink
  • Any community, no matter how small, can achieve success; any club team can aspire to a zone, provincial, national, or world championship
  • Community-based, community-supported
  • You play it on ice, hey, this is Canada!

I’ve curled a few times; mostly years ago when I lived in colder Canadian climes. It’s true anybody can do it, and the best part is the fellowship!

And less we think curling is just a sport for Canucks, here’s a 5 minute video of the US Olympic men’s curling team; it highlights the anybody can do this feel of curling, along with an explanation of the basic rudiments of the game.  (if you’re having trouble viewing the video, click here)

Here’s the 2010 Olympics curling schedule. Go community go!

What’s your favourite Winter Olympic “community” sport?

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photo credit: bensonkua

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