Curling is often derided and teased, but only by those who don’t understand this awesome winter sport. Here are some cool facts to help you gain an understanding and appreciation of this fascinating sport!
1) Curling originated over 500 years ago in Scotland. The first club was established in 1838 and set about establishing the official rules, equipment and curling stones. In the 19th century curling became rather popular in Canada.
2) Curling has been an Olympic sport since 1998.
3) Curling is called “The Roaring Game” due to the sound the stone makes upon its delivery and while moving over rough ice. Some refer to curling as “Chess on Ice” since the sport requires complex strategy to win.
4) The sport has a long list of celebrity fans from George Clooney and Toby Keith to Bruce Springsteen and Vernon Davis.
5) Canada is the world leader of curling with a total of 27 wins out of 42 possible Men’s World Championships.
6) Currently, there are about 1.2 million registered curling players worldwide.
7) The stones are made from a rare granite found in only two quarries in the entire world. Each stone is 36 inches around and 4.5 inches high. Depending on the competition level, the stones weigh between 38 and 44 pounds.
8) While unknown to many people, curling is just as popular as hockey in Canada.
9) After the Titanic catastrophe, a curling rink in Halifax, Canada was used as a temporary morgue.
10) Curling involves a high degree of sportsmanship and politeness not seen in many other sports. This is called the Spirit of Curling.” Teams will congratulate each other for good strategy and refrain from each other down. Conceding is not seen as weakness, but as honorable if no chance of winning is possible. Even at the highest levels of competition the winning team will often buy the losing team some drinks after a game.
“I kind of feel like curling combines this weird vision of people sliding down a lane, and it looks like it combines bowling and every bar game I've ever played.”
— Joe Buck