Curling Takes Over the Olympics


Looking for olympic figure skating or snowboarding on tv and you see people throwing rocks down an ice path? This is a sport called curling that has become a new sensation on international sporting channels.

What makes throwing rocks so intense? First of all, the curling stone has certain specifications that must be followed. All the official granite stones come from a volcanic island Ailsa Craig off the coast of Scotland or from the Trefor Quarry in Wales. The weights and sizes are all regulated including the hollowed inside. The curling brushes are made up of hollow tubes of carbon fiber and it is said that the top sweepers burn up to 500 calories an hour. The athletes’ shoes have sliding teflon soles that allow them to easily glide on the ice.

The types of deliveries are endless and the hammer (final stone thrown) is decided by chance. Getting a rock exactly where it needs to be may seem like an easy task, but players battle a bumpy ice surface and opponents rocks in their way.

Although one team may win, the shaking of hands doesn’t end the relationship between teams. It is said that the winning team buys the first round as a courtesy. This post-game hangout is called ‘broomstacking’.

Interested in the sport? A recent NPR story suggests the sport’s popularity is on the rise. Watch for it at the Ellenton ice ring over winter break. You could be the future in curling!