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curling
(Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images)

Curling is the best sport in the 2022 Winter Olympics and here’s why

curling
(Photo by Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images)

Curling is the best sport in the 2022 Winter Olympics and here’s why

The 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing are made up of 109 events across 15 different disciplines of sports, but the one that I have found myself watching the closest is curling.

I am not quite sure what it is about curling but there never seems to be a bad time to watch athletes slide a stone toward a target with their teammates sweeping away like they are trying to get the last speck of dirt off the ice. There have been three types of curling going on in the Olympics. The mixed doubles event went first and was won surprisingly by Italy. Currently, the men’s and women’s team events are going on and into the medal rounds.

In the men’s team event, Great Britain and Sweden will face off in the gold medal match while Canada and the U.S. play for bronze. A win for the U.S. will make it the first time either a men’s or women’s U.S. team has won a curling medal in back-to-back Olympics. As someone who pulls for Team GB, I have found even more of an interest in this year’s curling as they came in as the favorites to win gold. Half of the teams in the men’s medal round are also competing in the women’s team semifinals. In the first semifinal, Japan will be against top-seeded Switzerland and in the second semi, it is Sweden against Great Britain.

Curling is a sport that is different enough from what viewers in the U.S. usually watch to bring in more of an interest. And people all over the place have caught the curling bug. I have been sitting in class and seen people streaming curling. I have been at work and overhear customers and fellow employees discussing what has been happening from the Beijing National Aquatics Center, the venue hosting curling. 

Part of why I believe curling has become the sport to watch in the Winter Olympics is because on the surface the athletes competing look just like everyday people, they do not appear as super athletes. Four years ago the U.S. men’s team won their first-ever curling gold and the joke that went around following was that the team looked like a bunch of dads that stumbled into the Olympics and walked out with the gold. There is not a more relatable athlete than a curler. 

Now don’t get it wrong, curling most likely takes a lot of skill and training to get even just decent at. However, you don’t hear spectators saying how they could make the Olympics in skeleton or ski jumping, but curling is a different story. I hear loads of people saying how if they just dedicate a few years to it they could be representing their country in curling at the next Winter Olympics. 

Besides being able to relate to the athletes of the sport, it is the fact that curling never seems to be shown apart from when it comes time for the trials leading up to the Winter Olympics that makes it even more enjoyable to watch because it is different than what is always on. Before November 2021 when the U.S. Olympic Curling Trials took place the last time I can remember seeing curling shown live on tv was in 2018 at the PyeongChang Olympics. Since it is being shown live on television again it has been hard to get enough of curling in the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

There are a few other reasons that curling is the best sport. Among those are that the rules make it very easy to follow and understand what is going on. Similar to archery in the Summer Olympics the point of curling is to get your team’s stone as close to the button as possible. Another reason is that unlike in other sports virtually all the players are mic’d up in curling and can be heard barking orders at each other about where to aim and how hard or soft to sweep.

There are only six curling matches left in the 2022 Winter Olympics, unfortunately. With that being said, make sure you don’t miss out on the most interesting sport in the Olympics because the next time it will be shown all over the place is 2026 when the Winter Olympics happen in Milan, Italy.

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