i think part of the reason the olympics are so exciting is that we get to have all sorts of fascinating conversations that we only have once every four years. for example, we talk about how cross country skiing is wildly unpopular in canada or how womens hockey doesnt get televised often enough even though the women play so very much better than the men. my personal favourite of these quad-annual conversations is everyone's favourite"why is curling in the olympics"
here in ontario, curling is not that popular, and even the people who play the game do not all agree with the midwestern prairie zealots who are such fanatics about this "sport." surprisingly, curling is actually the most played sport in canada, beating out skiing, skating and hockey. what i find so interesting about this conversation is not so much the hilarious quips everyone comes up with about curling or the fact that if you hear it from another room it kind of sounds like porn with no music, but rather the more relevant discussion that never seems to take place.
the reason some people get very heated about this issue is because it all comes down to the meaning of "sport". how do you define a sport? is it a game of skill? is it a game where there are winners and losers? is it about being athletic? well how do you define athletic? take weight lifters, for example. they have great upper body strength and bulky thighs, but no cardio. are they more or less athletic than, say, a marathon runner who has very low muscle mass and great cardio? these are the questions and i really dont think there are concrete answers, but i will say this:
i am of the mind that curling is a game that does require skill, talent, practice and finesse and a certain amount of physical fitness (those brooms must really take the wind out of you), all of which amounts to me having respect for the people who play it. that being said, i really dont think it belongs in the the olympics, because it really does make a mockery of the elite athletes who have spent their entire lives and in most cases the lives of their families sculpting their bodies into winning machines. but thats just me.
ps. to the newcomers of my blog, i dont usually write about sports so much. once the olympics are over, i will be back to my usual meanderings.