Thursday 20th February
We so very rarely see curling on TV that it is a real treat at the moment. The Winter Olympics are wonderful. And the coverage is very much designed for the young; Snow boarding, SlopeTyle and Half Pipe Skiing, Cross-country and Biathlon, Downhill and Slalom, Speed Skating, Ice Dancing and Ice Skating not to mention Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh. Just Brilliant. And for me the best is Curling.
Invented in Scotland but what the game has evolved into is a million miles from how it started. It sounds simple doesn’t it; sliding granite stones along the ice to get nearest to a mark. A bit like bowls except that the stones have no bias and so turning in is achieved by putting on a spin which when the stone slows to a certain speed the spin kicks in and draws it in. The skill is laying down blockers and outlayers and then smashing through or colliding or bouncing stones onto one another to end up with at least one nearest the centre bullseye. The thrower slides his stone with the gentlest of touches to add spin, as the stone glides slowly towards its target the sweepers brush the ice to lessen friction and make the stone travel further.
Then the collision and as in snooker the angles are all important, the last stone or the hammer is all important, as it is a huge advantage. And team GB have done really well; the women are in the bronze final and the man in the actual final. They are guaranteed at least a silver medal. I can hardly wait. Curling is one of those sports that is just so exciting. You never know how and end will end up.