Face Off: Curling is best

Face Off: Curling is best

Sara Kress, Co-Culture Editor

The Winter Olympics consists of a multitude of sports, all of them more entertaining than the last. However, one sport rises above the rest: curling.

While curling may seem boring at first glance, it is a fast-paced sport filled with drama and suspense. Players slide the game pieces, known as stones, across the ice as they aim for a target at the end of their lane. The goal of the sport is to have your team’s stone closest to the center at the end of each round. In this way it is similar to the lawn game bocce; the team with the stone nearest to the bullseye gains one point.

Curling is a majestic sport. The thrower glides across the ice, guiding the stone in the direction he desires. It takes incredible skill to be able to crouch upright in that position—one leg out behind and one leg tucked against the stone—and still aim the stone in the right direction. The thrower is the most important role in curling because once the stone is in motion it is extremely difficult to change its direction. After the thrower releases the stone, the fate of the team rests on the brushes of the sweepers. The sweepers scrub the ice in front of the stone in order to affect the pace of the stone. Hard and fast sweeping makes the ice slicker, allowing the stone to slide more quickly. As the stone nears the target, the sweepers slow their sweeping so that the stone does not travel outside of the circle.

Watching the sweepers scrub the ice is one of the most exciting parts of curling. The level of intensity in which they sweep the floor is admirable. The fact that you do not know how the sweeper’s efforts will pan out adds suspense to the sport. Curling is full of strategy. Teams create guards to protect their stones. A great aspect of the sport is seeing the skill of the guards. If they don’t, one team’s stone could knock the other out of the circle, which is dramatic and fun.

Curling requires incredible strength and skill. It is a sport of strategy and suspense. All these aspects clearly make it the most enjoyable Winter Olympic sport to watch.