Curling, hitting some medals with a stone

Chang Ali He is one of 15 Chinese players to play “Scotland the Brave” for two weeks, according to curling tradition, every time teams are presented. He, like the rest of his compatriots, did not hesitate to wear the “skirt”, the famous Scottish skirt. “I learned to play the bagpipe on the Internet,” he told AFP a few days ago. He has three shows remaining between Saturday and Sunday, the men’s and women’s finals and the bronze medal fight between the Swedes and the Swiss, who will determine medals in an exciting, entertaining and educational competition as little known in Spain.

Curling is a sport that has its roots in Scotland 500 years ago and is both entertaining and educational as it picks up styles from bowling, petanque and even chess or golf. And it’s much more than just watching two people spread the ice as you move toward the goal at once Granite stone weighing 20 kg and that the partner fired, slowly or quickly, depending on whether it was appropriate to be strategically placed or transferred from the opposing team.

But it is not stones from the heap, far from it. To play curling, you have to do it with a class of granite, which is extracted from only two quarries of the same origin, the quarry on the island of Scotland. Alyssa Gregg Or in a Welsh city Trevor. 450 euros each, not counting the sensor that had to be removed in Beijing 2022 because it failed more than a fair shot during the first matches of the tournament.

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Three hours of mourning

A match can last up to three hours. The semi-final match between two world powers lasted two hours and 55 minutes on Friday morning, Sweden and Canada. Ten groups, throwing eight stones by each team, made up of four players. One threw, two brushed the ice to reinforce, slow or change the direction of the stone and the other directs the strategy, while the quartet speaks through an “earphone” and the audience listens to their decisions, congratulated and even angered when they fail, although this is rare.

And more when it is Niklas El Din At the forefront of operations. He is one of the “Great” and a true legend of curling, like the American Matt Hamilton, the North American star who seems to have been taken from the famous movie “The Big Lebowski” and who would not repeat the gold just four years ago in Korea. But this Friday he lost the bronze to Canada, a huge disappointment for the United States.

condemnInstead, it was the Swedish captain at Beijing 2022, the one who led his team to the final against Great Britain (All Scots) that takes place on Saturday morning. He was the one who decided where, how and in what way to throw the stones, when he did not, he left them in a millimeter roughly in the chosen place to say that I lay the granite where I lay my eyes.

His track record is impressive at the age of 36, in a sport where it’s easy to see forty-year-olds playing and a Michelin star. condemn He has been a five-time world champion, seven-time European champion and has already won two Olympic medals (silver and bronze). It is considered one of the best “skip” operations ever.

Remote control by brushes

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It is a wonderful sight to see with stones. It’s years of training, knowing how to center on the ice, adopting a pose almost like that of a snowboarder, ordering teammates to brush the rink, without touching the stone, which is a no-go, like remote control of movements to leave the granite in the perfect spot for the playing area or on the same circle for the goal.

Curling is a game of curling for better and for worse, and although you sometimes win and sometimes lose, the latter is hard to come by when condemn He has a graceful arm. or when the British players, sorry Scottish, win a place in the gold-medal contest against surprise Japan on Sunday after an unforgettable semi-final (including a tie-breaker) against the favorites; Swedish of course.

Amber Cross

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