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- Casual fans and viewers often peg curling as the easiest and least-demanding sport at the Winter Olympics.
- Curlers, however, push back on that narrative, saying it takes years of training and experience to fully understand how to play.
- Olympic curlers challenge critics to try the sport if it looks so easy.
Curling at the Winter Olympics is not quite like some of the other more spectacular sports in the games.
To the average fan, it looks like one of the more accessible sports – slow-paced, not athletically demanding, and skill-based.
Olympic curlers, however, would like to push back on that popular narrative, as USA Today’s Paul Myerberg reported. Many would challenge fans viewing at home to try it, if it looks so easy.
“Some people go, ‘It’s not a sport,'” said Becca Hamilton of the U.S team. “Well, just go out and try it and then get back to me.”
She added: “I didn’t start four years ago, yeah. Just let them try it and see how far they get.”
Finland’s Tomi Rantamäki agreed.
“They are welcome to try. Just come and try,” he said. “It’s important to people who do not play to think that it’s easy, because then they might try themselves. If they think that it’s dangerous or difficult, they might not try. So please try.”
In reality, curling is far more difficult than it appears. Each movement is meaningful and the technical skill is greater than it looks on TV. According to Myerberg, curlers say the tactical skills are even harder to learn.
“To get to this level you have to be elite,” Team USA coach Jake Higgs told Myerberg. “You can’t just roll out here, practice for a couple years and be at this level. That’s not the way it works.”
Be warned, curling critics – the sport is not that easy, and curlers dare their critics to try it.