Posted on Sep 12, 2021 51
Interesting facts about curling are certainly not the most popular sport in the world. But, one of the oldest. In the Scottish town of Dunblane, a curling stone was found at the bottom of a pond, and the date - 1511 - was stamped on the stone. It is Scotland which is considered being the birthplace of this sport. A similar game was common at the same time in the Netherlands. This is not surprising, as the two countries had strong trade relations, so the Scottish game could easily have found its way to the Netherlands with the help of sailors and merchants.
11 interesting facts about curling
The word “curling” itself comes from the Scottish verb “curr,” which can be translated as “roar”. After all, curling was played on the ice of frozen lakes, so the stones made exactly this sound as they moved. There is also the assumption that the name of the sport derived from the English word “curl.
The weight of curling stones varied at different times and at tournaments. Some participants competed with stones weighing a couple of kilograms, while others rolled giants weighing 50 kilograms or more on the ice. The biggest stone weighed 58.5 kilograms. Nowadays, such liberties are prohibited: for official tournaments, the shells weighing 44 pounds are used, and that is 19 kg 960 g. And the very first rules of curling were drawn up in 1838.
Not every material is suitable for manufacturing stones. The best option - granite from the island of Ailsa Craig, which is located near the coast of Scotland. But, currently there is a nature reserve, so, the extraction of granite was moved to North Wales.
The brushes designed to control the path of the stone were formerly made from strands of corn. Now horsehair and nylon are used for this purpose. Although, people unfamiliar with curling call them brooms or mops. In 2002, a comedy dedicated to curling was released in Canada. With the characteristic title, “The Broom Boys.” Curling stones have a common standard, but the broom is made individually for each player.
Curling was included in the program of the first Winter Olympic Games, held in 1924 in Chamonix (France). True, only as a demonstration (unofficial) kind of sport. Curling had the same status as an Olympic Game in 1932, 1988 and 1992. It was not until 1998 that it became a full participant in the Games. In 2006, the International Olympic Committee made a significant amendment to the history of the Olympics - to recognize the 1924 tournament as an official tournament. Except that none of the participants of those competitions were still alive.
Although curling may seem quite a simple activity, athletes are required to have good judgement and strong nerves. Physical strength is also necessary, but curlers themselves say that strength is not the main thing here. You can often see elderly people among the participants of large international competitions.
Currently, the World Curling Federation units athletes from 61 countries. The sport is most popular, of course, in the Nordic countries - Canada, Great Britain, Norway and Sweden. But, among the members of the federation are such exotic countries as Guyana, Qatar, New Zealand and even Nigeria. The Nigerian team took part in the 2019 World Curling Championships, taking 47th place there.
Curling around the world is being cultivated by artificial ice arenas. But, even in the 21st century, competitions on natural ice are not a thing of the past. For example, in Scotland, such tournaments are held by Kerrbridge Curling Club. And the world’s first match on artificial ice was held in 1877 in Manchester.
During the match, athletes use unusual shoes. one shoe has a slippery sole, allowing you to hurry on the ice. It is made of Teflon or plastic. But the second shoe, on the contrary, the sole should be stable and non-slippery. Therefore, it is covered with rubber. Curling equipment is not cheap, which prevents it from becoming a mass sport.