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My Favorite Olympic Sport, “Curling”

Curling
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Forget ice hockey, figure skating or ski racing, my favorite Olympic sport is “curling.” I got hooked on the sport during the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City after I interviewed some members of the U.S. Olympic Curling Team. I admit I still don’t really understand the game all that well, but it looks cool. What I like most about curling is that it is as much about strategy and focus as it is about being athletic. It is played by both men an women of all ages.

Curling is kind of like shuffleboard on ice. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called “rocks”, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice. Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game and points are scored for the stones resting closest to the center of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

In Sochi, the US is represented by a men’s and women’s team and will be competing against nine other teams from around the world. In the previous four winter Olympic Games, the US has only won a single bronze medal. The favorites in Sochi are Canada’s Men’s Team and Sweden’s Women’s team, the gold winners in the last two winter Olympics.

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