The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

February 10, 2007


I SO have to get a life, you say...
But what kind of curling have I been watching? It could be this kind...

But it's not.


It could be this kind...

Not that kind either, although I should probably be doing both those kinds of curls. My hair has been losing its curl with all this cold weather and my body tone has flown south for the winter.

No, it's the middle of winter, and up here in the Great White North, we play a game called curling. The Scots say they invented it but there's no doubt, it IS our game.

We call it the Roaring Game.

Yes, it is a lot like bowling on ice or shuffleboard or even darts, on ice. Essentially, I've been watching grown men throw 40-pound chunks of granites down thin sheets of ice all weekend.

The object is to get as many of those chunks of granites -- called rocks, or stones -- as close as you can to a concentric circle painted on either end of that sheet of ice.
Nobody's better at it on the planet than we are, although it's safe to say most people on the planet don't even know it exists, likely, or at the very least know little about it.

In fact, Canada's men's team won the gold medal at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. That's them to the right. They're from Newfoundland.

America's Peter Fenson, from nearby Bemidji, Minn., won the bronze medal.

Nobody in Canada is better at curling than we in the province of Manitoba are. We can make this boast because no province has won more men's championships than we have in Canada.

And right now, this weekend, the provincial men's curling championship is being held in a place called Dauphin, about three hours from here.

The winner, to be decided Sunday, will play in the national championship in Alberta later this month.

The winner of that title will play in the world championship in April against Sweden, Norway, Scotland, the U.S., Japan, Russia and other countries that have taken up the game.

I curled as a teenager and we won the fourth tier of the provincial high school championships.

I covered curling when it was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. I've covered national and world curling championships, both men's and women's.

So I have an interest...and so does a whole country.

I wonder if the rest of the world thinks we've got rocks for brains...