Saturday, February 24, 2018
Another Reason To Love Canadians
Curling is an Olympic sport. Some people who don't understand it don't respect it. The fault in that is not curling's, it's people's. Things are interesting when you know them deeply; casual dismissal comes from ignorance.
Example: Because the Winter Olympics are currently on television, many are commenting on it. Actress Kirstie Alley, while claiming that she was “not trying to be mean,” tweeted she thinks “curling is boring.” The U.S. Curling team didn't take this lying down. They responded with a tweet of their own -- "We’re not trying to be mean either but your movies weren’t exactly riveting theater Kirstie. #justsaying #curling #rockit #TeamUSA."
I'm not going to launch into a discussion of the technical aspects of this sport but want to point out two important things. First, curling, while played in several countries, is especially popular in Canada. That fact is connected to my second point -- curling has a culture. A culture of sportsmanship. That's something missing from many sports today, including our professional ones (football, baseball, basketball).
Here's a description of the culture of curling (from Wikipedia). As you read it, tell me you don't think it's equally a description of Canadian culture:
"More so than in many other team sports, good sportsmanship, often referred to as the "Spirit of Curling", is an integral part of curling....
The Spirit of Curling...leads teams to congratulate their opponents for making a good shot, strong sweeping or spectacular form. Perhaps most importantly, the Spirit of Curling dictates that one never cheers mistakes, misses or gaffes by one's opponent (unlike most team sports) and one should not celebrate one's own good shots during the game beyond modest acknowledgement of the shot such as a head nod, fist bump or thumbs-up gesture. Modest congratulation, however, may be exchanged between winning team members after the match. On-the-ice celebration is usually reserved for the winners of a major tournament after winning the final game of the championship. It is completely unacceptable to attempt to throw opposing players off their game by way of negative comment, distraction or heckling.
A match traditionally begins with players shaking hands with and saying "good curling" or "have a pleasant game" to each member of the opposing team. It is also traditional in some areas for the winning team to buy the losing team a drink after the game. Even at the highest levels of play, players are expected to call their own fouls.
It is not uncommon for a team to concede a curling match after it believes it no longer has any hope of winning. Concession is an honorable act and does not carry the stigma associated with quitting, and also allows for more socializing. To concede a match, members of the losing team offer congratulatory handshakes to the winning team. Thanks, wishes of future good luck and hugs are usually exchanged between the teams. To continue playing when a team has no realistic chance of winning can be seen as a breach of etiquette."
Thoughts? Are you watching the Olympics?
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I usually just follow ice hockey, but this time it’s like we’re in some weird alternative universe. I mean, Germany is in the finals, how did that happen??? But I will root for them (hubby’s German...), if only because my team didn’t get to this stage (how did that happen???!!! As I said, alternative universe, that’s the only explanation...) Well, at least the women’s hockey team got bronze...ReplyDelete
Talk about alternate universe -- the Americans won men's curling!Delete
I have actually started to enjoy watching the curling.ReplyDelete
I am a huge fan of the Olympics in general and love the Winter Games but NBC has been horrible in its presentation. Their hosts just talk about themselves and they seem to lack knowledge of the sports they are covering. They have done a poor job of explaining various sports and a terrible job of having things follow in order. It seems that all that ever happens is that the hosts will say "Later we will be showing....something" and then another commercial. All that NBC seems to be doing is going from commercial to commercial with not any regard for what is happening with the athletes. What a waste of a once every four year event or for may athletes a once in a lifetime moment.
I agree about NBC's poor coverage. They even announced someone won the gold medal before competition was over and a later athlete won it!Delete
We were taught how to curl in junior high. It's actually really fun. I thought was going to be boring but like you wrote you always think that when you don't know how to play the sport. I thought the same thing about golf and tennis too before I learned how to play.ReplyDelete
I haven't watched any of the Olympics because I don't have TV. I will fully admit I'm not a fan of watching sports. I think the last time I watched a hockey game was when I lived at home with my parents.
That's so cool that they taught you that! I know you're not a sports fan... maybe if they let athletes dress up in fashionable outfits you'd watch!Delete
Love this!! Sportsmanship from a different perspective. My 8 year old just started taking Tae Kwon Do and the entire dojo tries to go beyond the technical skill of sport or form. You also practice integrity, honor, having an indomitable spirit... You have to have a parent and teacher letter showing you are making progress in improving at home and school. It's amazing.ReplyDelete
At its best, sports can teach us how to live. Too often here in America, overly-competitive parents push their kids in the wrong direction toward bad sportsmanship.Delete
I love curling. I find it a very interesting sport to watch because it's easy to catch the rules and easy to wait for the the best outcome. I also like it that you have to think to win, not only train.ReplyDelete
I like activities that require brains and not just brawn. Thanks for your perspective, Lyosha!Delete
I'm not that into curling, but I love that it has that sportmanship element - Ultimate Frisbee is the same. We call our own fouls, and it's all about having fun!ReplyDelete
I'm not really into any sports, but I've been intrigued by curling ever since I came across it in a book when I was in primary school. I'll keep watching when I come across it when I'm channel surfing on tv. xxxReplyDelete
I haven't been watching them, but my friend Victoria often live-tweets as she is watching and it has been kinda cool to follow along that way. I have never really put any thought into curling, though I have seen people make fun of it online. This post has been educational! However, that clap-back at Kirstie Alley is hilarious. An embarrassing way to stay relevant.ReplyDelete
I did not know the Olympics were happening ! OMG i am so disconnected from the world...ReplyDelete