First off, isn’t this video inspirational? Doesn’t it just make you wanna get off your ass and grab a broom?
Don’t get me wrong. I love sport as much as the next guy. Focus, Concentration, Tension and Motion are all elements highlighted by this video, the same things I’ve had to endure in some of the strenuous activities I’ve participated in. Like Backgammon and Pictionary. But that doesn’t qualify it as an Olympic Sport, now does it?
Where I come from being skillfull with a broom doesn’t really constitute an Olympic athlete, rather a housewi… let me quit while I’m ahead. This post is about Curling, which is not a reference to what my daughter does with her hair when she wants to look pretty, it’s the Olympic sport.
My first reaction to Curling was hysterics, as I deemed it another entertaining skit on the Olympic Games by the team of Saturday Night Live. Imagine my utter astonishment when I realised that it is actually something people in the Northern Hemisphere, not only partake in, but also consider a sport. But who am I to judge? It probably takes countless hours to perfect the scientific art of sweeping. And even more time to get the hang of the weird skiing technique required for exquisite curling. You know, the one where you drag one of your legs several metres behind your torso. I’m really surprised that there are no reports of raptured you know-what-I’m-implying, whilst attempting to do that split-in-motion-thing. And then the face. The concentration face, or as it’s called in my house: Constipation.
Curling has been around since the 16th century and originated in Scotland, which is the same country where men wear skirts, by the way. And it became an Olympic event in 1998. It’s similar to shuffle board, or not, depending on your point of reference.
My question is this: How challenging or entertaining does an activity have to be for it to be considered a sport? And even more so, qualifying as an Olympic Sport?
In the Southern hemisphere and some parts of Europe there’s this a thing called Rugby. It takes teamwork, skill, hours of training, peak physical conditioning and ball skills to forge a winning team. It’s highly entertaining and people, mostly men, will schedule game viewings and/or live attendance, months in advance. It’s big, take my word for it. And it is not an Olympic sport!
I am keen to understand what arguments were used to convince the decision makers to include Curling on the roster for the Olympic Games. I’m not even sure how a commentator would go about trying to make the event sound exciting. And what happens after the Games, do we consider the gold medal winning team of Curling to be in the same league as Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt? Can we expect some endorsements from Nike or Adidas? Wait, what about a reality series?
Maybe it’s just the intensity and degree of tension, concentration, focus and motion that’s required in this specific event that I don’t fully appreciate. You know those qualities supposedly NOT present in other non-Olympic sports like cricket or baseball. Maybe the secret is in the sheer spectator value, all the excitement that’s generated…seeing women using a broom.
And then not being a witch about it…