canada wins gold

Today I read that Canada beat Scotland to win the World Curling Championship.

OK Canadians, can you please put this in context for me?

How much do you folks (meaning, the whole country) care about this sport? Rank it in terms of importance against hockey (obviously Number One), football, baseball, and such? Do people know the names of the players, follow their travails in the paper, go out to watch matches? Or is it played in complete obscurity?

Curling kind of cracks me up. It seems like a sport that must have very old roots - pushing an object across a line is about as basic as it gets - but such a limited scope, like, perhaps, fencing. But I love out-of-the-way sports. Hey, you're talking to a girl who wrote about goalball - played by blind people - and sit-volleyball, played by amputees across a 4-foot-high net. No joke.

So fill me in, eh?*

* That may be the first "eh" I've ever used in wmtc, and I'm not being sarcastic. I like it. It works.


Anonymous said...

It is a big sport in this country, it is always on TV in the winter and it is an absolute blast to play. I think over 1 million Canadians play and Men & Women participate equally coast to coast. You wouldn't think that chucking a 40lb slab of polished granite down the ice would be all that interesting but it is. Anything played on ice that Canada dominates in the world stage is big here.


I will sum it up the best way I know how...with a link


Jubileee said...

This Canadian could care less about curling. I don't follow it, don't know the names of curlers, and I definately don't watch it on tv. I didn't even know the World Championship was going on. So, to sum it up: yes, lots of people like it here, but I don't. I'd say it's not on par with hockey, baseball or basketball. Maybe it's on par with figure skating? Gymnastics? Golf? Bowling?

Anonymous said...

Curling is big here - this year there is added limelight, what with the NHL in a nonexistant mode this year.

It's one of those sports that is difficult to get into solely by watching ... but it can actually be pretty fun to play. Think of marbles, using larger stones. Not a true comparison, of course, but the closest I can come up with.

Look at it this way: if you can get people to watch lawn bowling ... you can get them to watch anything.

laura k said...

It's definitely related to marbles, and boccia. Same general principle, from what I can see.

As far as playing... Did you play it in school? Are there leagues, local teams, etc.? It's not like you can play a pick-up game on your driveway.

Anonymous said...

Was at an arena to pick up a buddy from hockey practice. When the practice was done, a group of people came onto the ice and started curling. So, I went out there, shoes and all, asked about it and they showed me how it's played. Can't say I ever got hooked - but that was the point where I accepted it as a sport and stopped making fun of it.

That hasn't yet happened with lawn bowling, for me, and I don't think it will.

Rognar said...

I don't think many immigrants ever develop an appreciation for curling. When I lived in Montreal, the most ethnically diverse place I ever lived, you would often hear men of all ethnicities talking hockey in the bars and the barbershops. But curling, not so much. It's a great sport, but definitely an acquired taste.

Other factoids, the men's Canadian national championship is called the Brier (pronounced Bry-er). The women's national championship is called the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

Since the first international curling championship in 1959, Canada has won 29 times.

laura k said...

In a comment now disappeared, Rob explained what a "rink" is. (A team.) Now these stories make a lot more sense. Four championships for this Edmonton team - very impressive.

And naturally I'm pleased to know there are women's teams.

During the last winter Olympics, there was a lot written about curling making inroads in the US, especially in Colorado and other western states. If I recall correctly, the people interviewed all said they used to laugh at it, until they played, and then they were hooked.

Rognar said...

Yeah, I removed that comment when I noticed your earlier post about curling. Curling in the US is actually pretty well-established in a few hotbeds. The US has won the worlds 4 or 5 times, the most recent being in the late 70s.

I think Jubilee might be underestimating the profile of curling in Canada. Sports like soccer and basketball are played a lot by kids in school, but among adults, curling is probably on par with hockey as far as active participation. In fact, among adult women, it is almost certainly ahead of hockey.