Olympic Curling: Now With 150% of the Fun!

ConigliarosPotential

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Is curling the best sport in the Winter Olympics? Or is it the best sport in the world, anywhere, ever?

I kid, but this is always a great watch of a sport which normally gets precious little air time (unless you live in Canada, I guess). And this year there's a mixed doubles tournament in addition to the normal men's and women's competitions - a tournament in which, surprisingly, the Canadians don't seem to be favored. Certainly Canada will be strongly favored in the traditional two disciplines...so who do you like, both to win and to watch?
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Is curling the best sport in the Winter Olympics? Or is it the best sport in the world, anywhere, ever?

I kid, but this is always a great watch of a sport which normally gets precious little air time (unless you live in Canada, I guess).
No idea what channel it's on, but I've seen a fair amount of curling on TV over the past few years.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Can we discuss USA curling here? So, this will be the fourth time for skipper John Shuster. Bronze in '06(not skip), last in Vancouver where he gagged so bad he lost his spot during the event, and ninth place in Sochi. I'm a bit miffed that this guy will be out there again in SK given his track record. I get the reality that the sport isn't huge here, but it's still annoying that we haven't been able to develop a better player to take his spot. It's funny you look at all the other teams and the guys are absolute units. Very fit. Then there's the paunchy John Shuster who's obviously not in the same class of fitness as the world's greatest Curlers and it's a bit embarrassing. They say he's lost some weight and from pictures it looks like he has. But it looks like he's just shaved off some fat, not built any muscle. I'm afraid it's going be another weak showing by Team USA's Men's Curling team.

Vernon Davis for 2022 Curling skip!
 

cromulence

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Can we discuss USA curling here? So, this will be the fourth time for skipper John Shuster. Bronze in '06(not skip), last in Vancouver where he gagged so bad he lost his spot during the event, and ninth place in Sochi. I'm a bit miffed that this guy will be out there again in SK given his track record. I get the reality that the sport isn't huge here, but it's still annoying that we haven't been able to develop a better player to take his spot. It's funny you look at all the other teams and the guys are absolute units. Very fit. Then there's the paunchy John Shuster who's obviously not in the same class of fitness as the world's greatest Curlers and it's a bit embarrassing. They say he's lost some weight and from pictures it looks like he has. But it looks like he's just shaved off some fat, not built any muscle. I'm afraid it's going be another weak showing by Team USA's Men's Curling team.

Vernon Davis for 2022 Curling skip!
Did you watch any of the qualifying? I was all ready to be right there with you on Shuster, but during his last match the announcers were talking about him and it sounds like he's actually earned the spot. Long story short, several years ago USA Curling started a new program to try and improve the team and basically told Shuster that he could fuck off and he wasn't invited to be part of it. He found a few other guys who'd also been left out, formed a team, got his ass in shape, and they've done really well since then and pushed their way back into USA Curling. He won the qualification fair and square, so you can't really gripe that someone else deserves a chance. If they did, they should've beaten him.
 

mauidano

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Hard to find curling on cable here in Hawaii. Used to watch it as a kid a lot growing up in Michigan on Canadian TV. Fell in love with it and used to use the long hallway in our socks in the house to improvise. So I really enjoy it when it's on the Olympics. The marketing side of it is getting better as well. Even for the ladies and their calendars.
https://thecurlingnews.com/2016/10/12-athletes-featured-in-new-2017-women-of-curling-calendar/

I'm gonna get into this thread and follow you guys to get ready!
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Did you watch any of the qualifying? I was all ready to be right there with you on Shuster, but during his last match the announcers were talking about him and it sounds like he's actually earned the spot. Long story short, several years ago USA Curling started a new program to try and improve the team and basically told Shuster that he could fuck off and he wasn't invited to be part of it. He found a few other guys who'd also been left out, formed a team, got his ass in shape, and they've done really well since then and pushed their way back into USA Curling. He won the qualification fair and square, so you can't really gripe that someone else deserves a chance. If they did, they should've beaten him.
Interesting, thanks. I didn't mean to imply he was just handed the spot rather than earned it, more that I'm surprised that USA Curling hadn't developed a worthy replacement. Either way good for him for rededicating himself to the sport and his own fitness.
 

The Napkin

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right here
The Olympic Channel (nee Universal HD) will often have it on, and not even just US related. They had European championships or something like that at some point.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Does anyone else here curl on a regular basis? I've become the skip of one of the rinks at my club in Edinburgh for the first time this season (which is decent enough that one of our members was part of Scotland's World Senior Championship gold medal team a few years ago), and while I'm vaguely terrified at the thought of throwing terrible stones at the end of every end and pissing off my teammates to the point that nobody ever wants to talk to me again, I played my first really decent match as a skip this evening, right up to the point where I missed a relatively easy takeout with the final shot of the match when I needed to hit and hold to win or hit and roll away to draw.

I started playing just over four years ago, and at first I imagined the learning curve to get from an absolute novice to Olympic class - though far beyond anything I myself could imagine achieving - must be significantly smaller at curling than it would be at, say, basketball or athletics or alpine skiing. Guess what? It isn't, or at least not to any degree that I can appreciate. It's truly absurd just how good the best players in the world are, and even though you think you're doing basically the same thing when you push off from the hack that they are, you really aren't. Tonight I played two inch-perfect draws to the outside of the eight-foot in the same end to turn a likely one point into three, and it was like making a pair of 30-foot putts on back-to-back holes...but just because I can do that in golf on very rare occasions doesn't make me Tiger Woods, either.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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I'm a member at Broomstones (dedicated ice in Wayland MA) and a summer member at Marlborough (arena ice). I've been skipping in one of the Broomstones social leagues, and I sub and play pick-up when I can. Although I really enjoy it, I've never really pushed to be a skip; other people figured I play well enough and am experienced enough to play there. Who am I to disagree?

My game comes and goes. When I have good balance sliding out and I have a good feel for draw weight, I'll do pretty well. When I'm struggling with balance or can't find draw weight... those are tough nights.

The thing that blows me away with the top level guys is the way they can put their takeout shots in the right place to a quarter of an inch or so. I'm happy if I'm within a quarter of a rock.

Have you done any bonspiels yet? In the U.S., five-and-unders have become pretty popular. Unfortunately, I missed out on that when I was still starting out, but I've done some open 'spiels... Dallas a couple of times, Marlborough this summer (finished second!), and Broomstones Oktoberfest this fall.

One other claim to fame... I was part of a steal eight-ender when I was in Houston, playing second as I recall. (Other team had a chance to draw for one and threw it through.)
 

ConigliarosPotential

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Have you done any bonspiels yet? In the U.S., five-and-unders have become pretty popular. Unfortunately, I missed out on that when I was still starting out, but I've done some open 'spiels... Dallas a couple of times, Marlborough this summer (finished second!), and Broomstones Oktoberfest this fall.
Our bonspiels in Edinburgh generally consist of two back-to-back eight-end games, with pairings redrawn after the first games so that winners play winners and vice versa...but I think the overall winner is usually the rink with the best points differential, even if it has a 1-1 record against others at 2-0. I've played in a few, but they're not a highlight of my curling calendar or anything.
One other claim to fame... I was part of a steal eight-ender when I was in Houston, playing second as I recall. (Other team had a chance to draw for one and threw it through.)
We have one intra-club competition every year where the order of each rink rotates every two ends, so that you get to be skip in two ends and third in two ends, etc. The very first time I played as a skip was in this competition, and in my second end ever as skip we were lying eight with just the final stone to be played; there was so much granite in the house that my opponent couldn't help but hit something, and we wound up scoring only four, but it was hilarious to see play come to a halt on the two sheets adjacent to ours so everyone could watch if we could score the eight.
 

CodPiece XL

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Curling is one of these sports I could watch all day, well that and snooker ( If I had the time). However, I'm seldom able to find it on TV, but I suppose I don't actively seek it out.

When I was growing up in Scotland we had two curling stones sitting either side of the main entrance to the house. To this day I don't know why we had them or who they belonged to. Nobody in my family curled and it's not like we had access to a rink since we were in the Outer Hebrides. I have no clue what happened to them.

Anyways, I always thought Eve Muirhead was "hawt" . That's all I have.
 

Infield Infidel

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I started curling in October. I had always liked watching, and a couple friends needed a fourth in a not-too-competitive Sunday lunch time league , so I said why not? I enjoy it so far, mainly because it's really difficult. I'm no longer falling over myself, and I haven't forgotten to take off my gripper before a throw since, like, the first week of December. My balance is still all over the place, weight comes and goes, but I've had steady improvement with line and handle. I should probably go to another coaching clinic since I've only been to one
 

joeflah

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I was watching a Curling match? in the Olympics a few years ago when one of the announcers started talking about a play or an incident in a previous match that involved a player from NORWEGIA . Needless to say they obviously don’t put their top people on the Curling broadcasts or do they? If it was espn then they probably do because after all their motto is “we’re espn, we think it’s about us” and the event doesn’t matter.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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I started curling in October. I had always liked watching, and a couple friends needed a fourth in a not-too-competitive Sunday lunch time league , so I said why not? I enjoy it so far, mainly because it's really difficult. I'm no longer falling over myself, and I haven't forgotten to take off my gripper before a throw since, like, the first week of December. My balance is still all over the place, weight comes and goes, but I've had steady improvement with line and handle. I should probably go to another coaching clinic since I've only been to one
Good for you - that's really great to hear.
 

jkempa

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All I have to add is I tried it once and it is sooo much fucking harder than it looks.

My wife and I did a one hour introduction just for fun on vacation one year, and the instructor said (after we sucked all over), “People think you can learn curling in an hour. Those people have never tried curling.” Or something to that effect. Truer words have never been spoken.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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LOVE curling. Korean women's team just placed 3rd in the Canadian World Curling Tour Grand Slam event and has an outside chance to medal in home court.

Also found out there's only 1 place in the world, Scotland, where the (competitive grade) curling stones are made:

 

SumnerH

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Yep - the granite for pretty much all the curling stones in the world comes from Ailsa Craig, an offshore rock most known to golf fans who have seen it while watching an Open Championship being played at Turnberry.
Kays in Scotland and Ailsa Craig get the most press since they've had the Olympic deal since 2006, but about 30-40% of competitive curling stones are made from granite from Trefor Quarry in Wales, including those made by Canada Curling Stone.

Trefor Quarry stones were used at the 2002 Olympics (and 1998 I believe).

http://www.canadacurlingstone.on.ca/trefor_granites.php

Historically there were several other common granites; https://curlinghistory.blogspot.com/2008/06/some-facts-about-old-stones.html has some discussion and pictures.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Ok, the Vikings celebrating Kyle Rudolph’s 1Q TD catch by sweeping in front of the football was priceless! Hats off to them (until 2weeks from now anyways)
 

DrewDawg

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Physics of Curling:



I did NOT know the sweeping was to make stone curve LESS. Blew my mind.
 
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Mr. Wednesday

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Physics of Curling:

I did NOT know the sweeping was to make stone curve LESS. Blew my mind.
Usually it's to make it curve less. Sometimes it's to make it curve more. (In fact, the ability to make it curve more was pretty much at the heart of the big broomgate scandal last year that led to everyone curling at a high level having to use the same broom heads.)
 

Ale Xander

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Curling begins Wednesday night, Midnight ET, 9PM PT, with US v. Russia mixed doubles, on NBCSN. 6 hours later, it is US v. CAN
 

ninjacornelius

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Curling begins Wednesday night, Midnight ET, 9PM PT, with US v. Russia mixed doubles, on NBCSN. 6 hours later, it is US v. CAN
I have no idea why NBCSN is showing curling on tape delay at midnight, but USA/OAR mixed doubles is streaming live on nbcolympics.com right now (7pm ET). You may need to log in with a cable/satellite provider to watch, though.
 

Ale Xander

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Is Catalan doing the tape delay?

This Russian curler screams louder than Sharapova. Love it.
 

DrewDawg

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USA!!! USA!!!

Shouldn't scoreboard say Olympics AthleteS from Russia?
 

ninjacornelius

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I know every sport has its own terminology that is indecipherable to outsiders, but "if you chisel it over and it ends on the nose they won't be able to crotch it" is really quite the turn of phrase.
 

DrewDawg

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Ha.

USA picks up a point when Russia had the hammer. The Russian team won the worlds in 2016.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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The China-Switzerland game - which is what we had live on the BBC overnight - had a crazy finish. China was trailing by one point going into the final end, and after China played the last stone they were lying one with a measure for two and the match. Both men (Swiss and Chinese) went to move the counting stone on the button so they could measure the other two stones...and in so doing, the Chinese player appeared to move the Swiss stone slightly. Maybe a millimeter, maybe a centimeter - but after a long delay and conference with the referee, the referee refused to measure the stones and instead gave China just the one point, forcing an extra end. Our first piece of Olympic sporting controversy this year!
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Did you watch any of the qualifying? I was all ready to be right there with you on Shuster, but during his last match the announcers were talking about him and it sounds like he's actually earned the spot. Long story short, several years ago USA Curling started a new program to try and improve the team and basically told Shuster that he could fuck off and he wasn't invited to be part of it. He found a few other guys who'd also been left out, formed a team, got his ass in shape, and they've done really well since then and pushed their way back into USA Curling. He won the qualification fair and square, so you can't really gripe that someone else deserves a chance. If they did, they should've beaten him.
But isn't it the case that Shuster always shows up in qualifying, just to fold one he hits the rink in the Olympics.

Count me on Team Shuster Out! If he got himself in great shape for this Olympics then fuck him even more.
 

cromulence

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I'll grant you that it's nice to have Mixed Doubles and the Hamiltons to root for as a change of pace, but I'm willing to give Shuster one more chance. Who doesn't love a good redemption story?