Pyeongchang 2018

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Curling: five things you didn’t know about a Winter Games favourite

A relatively new Winter Games arrival

Curling only became an Olympic Winter Games sport at Nagano 1998. Teams consist of either four men or four women, and for the first time, mixed teams will be competing at PyeongChang 2018.

Curling is known as “chess on ice” and the “roaring game”

For those who are not familiar with curling, it looks simple. In reality, the teams work hard to strategize how to achieve the best placement of the stones in the target area, known as the house. It is called the roaring game for the loud sound the stones make as they are “delivered” to the house. A game consists of delivering eight to 10 stones into the house.

Curling dates back to 16th century Scotland

References to a game on ice with a large stone date back into the 1500s in Scotland. The oldest curling club in the world and the governing body of the sport are both located in Perth, Scotland. Unsurprisingly, Canada dominates the sport today, having been introduced there by Scottish immigrants in the 1800s.

Sportsmanship is key

How you conduct yourself in curling is as important as the curling itself. A team that is losing and believes they have no chance of winning will stop play and declare the other team the winner. It is bad form to gloat or celebrate overtly in a way that would cause shame or embarrassment to the losing team.

Not any stone can be a curling stone

The stones must weigh between 38 and 44 lbs. They are made of granite, and only two quarries in the world supply the granite – one located on an island off the coast of Scotland and the other in Wales.


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