Cheer Du Jour

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Feb 23: Curling is Cool Day

on February 22, 2013

Curling StonesEnglish: The United States curling team at the...

Curling

Curling is Cool Day celebrates the enigmatic sport of Curling, an Olympic sport as of its debut at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. When the sport was officially introduced that year, I tried my best to understand it. Maybe it will become clear during the 2014 Games. In the meantime, here is an overview of curling basics and history from the Olympic website. There are also several terms in the glossary (a glossary!), so you can speak the lingo like a true curler. Now, bundle up, grab a broom and a stone, and find some ice. Happy Curling is Cool Day!

via Curling Equipment, History and Rules | Olympic.org.

Curling is a team sport played by two teams of four players on a rectangular sheet of ice. Its nickname, “The Roaring Game”, originates from the rumbling sound the 44-pound (19.96kg) granite stones make when they travel across the ice.

Scottish origins: One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling originated in the 16th century in Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen ponds and lochs. The earliest-known curling stones came from the Scottish regions of Stirling and Perth and date from 1511. In the 1600s, stones with handles were introduced.

Key developments: The first curling clubs appeared in Scotland, with the Grand Caledonian Curling Club, formed in 1838, being responsible for formulating the first official rules of the sport. The Club was renamed the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1843. The key 20th-century developments in the sport have been the standardisation of the stone, the development of the slide delivery, and the use of indoor, refrigerated ice facilities.

Olympic history: Men’s curling was included in the Olympic programme in 1924 at the first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix. It was then dropped, and later re-introduced as a demonstration sport in 1932 in Lake Placid. Between 1936 and 1992, curling was staged at the Games as a demonstration sport: in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936 and Innsbruck in 1964, under the German name of “Eisschiessen”; and in 1988 in Calgary and in 1992 in Albertville, with both men’s and women’s events. It was in Nagano in 1998 that it officially joined the Olympic programme, with both men’s and women’s competitions.

via Equipment and History

Broom or brush: There are two types of broom. The most common is a brush or “push broom”. The other is a corn/straw/Canadian broom, which, with long bristles, looks much like a normal broom.

Ice: For indoor tournaments the artificially created ice has its surface sprinkled with water droplets which freeze into tiny bumps on the surface. Called “pebbled ice”, this surface helps the stone’s grip and leads to more consistent curling.

Rink: The rink is 42.07m long and 4.28m wide with a target – or house – at either end.

Shoes: Special curling shoes are common; shoes should grip the ice well. While shooting, extremely slippery surfaces such as Teflon are used on the sliding foot. Some are built into the shoes and others are strapped on over the shoes.

Rock: Also known as a stone, a curling rock is made of rare, dense granite that is quarried on Scotland’s Ailsa Craig. Each rock weighs 19.1kg and is polished.

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