Why curling is the best Olympic sport

Will Grimwood, Contributing Writer

With the Winter Olympics recently concluding, I have once again been interested in the concept of sports. There is something about the snow and ice that make it much more exciting than the Summer Olympics, and for some reason every four years I am glued to the television in a way that no other sport can make me. Among all the jubilation and the feats of humanity against the elements, if one thing ever catches me in a four-hour binge, it’s curling. Among all the sports offered, I truly believe that curling is the singular best Olympic sport.

Now, I know that is a big claim, but I think that if one considers that is it is the best sport for every person; meaning anyone and everyone can not only enjoy watching it at the professional level, but anyone and everyone can play it. Firstly, watching. I would like to note that I am not American, so I didn’t grow up with a lot of American culture. The reason I bring this up is that I have no understanding of how American football works. I’ve tried, I’ve had American friends explain it to me, I’ve sat through two separate Super Bowls and I simply do not understand. However, most people can watch one head of curling and pick it up, and by the end of a game all of the important lingo makes sense. Considering this article is not, in fact, a game of curling, I’ll list the important terms below:

Curling (n): One of the few times it is acceptable to tell your partner to sweep harder
Stone (n): One of the sliding things that goes down the ice
Rock (n): Another word for stone
Head (n): Each team has thrown all its stones from one end of the ice to the other
House (n): The circles at the end of the ice
Pin (n): The very middle of the circle
Weight (n): How much force is behind each push

Boom! Seven terms. That’s all it takes to understand the basics of curling lingo. But understanding the lingo doesn’t mean you understand the sport as a whole; you need to understand the mission, the goal. Hockey: Get the flying death disk into the goal.
Gymnastics: Do some really cool flips and get points. Cycling: Go zoomies. Curling? Get the stone as close to the pin as possible. The scoring is just based on how many stones you have closer to the pin than the other team. There, that’s the sport, you’ve got it. You could turn on the TV and watch all the curling you want. Yeah, sure, there might be some terminology you don’t know, but I swear you can pick it up as soon as the commentators use it. As a spectator, you can understand and enjoy curling within one watch, and by the end of your first game you’ll be shouting at the TV at the idiots for throwing a back house when they obviously should have been throwing a t-weight.

Okay, so you can watch the sport, but what makes curling truly an A-List sport is the ability to play it. It does not matter how old you are, your skill level, your fitness level; within an hour you will be able to curl. The game comes in two different sections: sliding and sweeping. For the sliding; all you need to do is slide. You don’t even need to have the core-strength to support yourself, they give you a support frame to hold, and you have a stone in the other. If you can bend your knees or push off the side of the pool, you can slide. For the sweeping; I guarantee you that you have probably done enough housework once in your life to understand the theory behind that. I swear, that’s all you need to know to be able to play a couple of rough heads. Sure, there is theory and physics behind it, how you curl the stone, the effects of pebbling, but if you went to a rink now, you could probably figure all of that out.

There are a lot of sports out there. Watching professionals do them can be impressive, but often overwhelming. Not only is there often a lot of complicated mechanics, but for 99% of sports, there is no way you could ever get anywhere near the Olympians. But Curling is that 1%, that’s not only inviting to watch, but inviting to play, and it is because of this that it is the best sport. If you get the opportunity, I recommend finding a rink and throwing a few stones with friends.