Curling In a Nutshell
The pace and strategy of Curling have given it the nickname of “Chess on Ice”. Australians can best relate to it as “Lawn Bowls on Ice”. Curling is a team sport with great tradition where players strategise over each slide and have incredible skill. Competition is tense for the players and captivating for spectators.
Curling originated in medieval Scotland (1500s) on frozen ponds using any stones players could find. Today competitors send the large 19.96kg granite stone down a 45 metre marked sheet of ice as their teammates sweep their path. The object of sweeping is to create a thin film of moisture between the stone and the ice to act as a lubricant. This makes the stone travel faster and makes it less likely to deviate from a straight line or “curl”.
The first Curling competition at the Winter Olympic Games was held at Chamonix in 1924. After the Lake Placid Games in 1932, Curling was dropped as an Olympic sport for the next 50 years, and then re-admitted as a demonstration sport at Calgary in 1988. It returned as an official Olympic sport in Nagano in 1998.