Curling in Beijing

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I’m back in Minnesota now after a great three weeks in China, but a part of me wishes I were still in Beijing for this weekend’s World Curling Championships!

The Wall Street Journal Reports:

“China is warming up for its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics with an event of almost equal stature: the World Men’s Curling Championship, which kicks off in Beijing on Saturday.

 

The home team will have high hopes after placing fourth at the Winter Olypmics in Sochi, emerging from nowhere as a heavyweight contender with the help of Canadian coach Marcel Rocque, a former champion curler himself.

 

‘China has an outside chance,’ said Bob Weeks, author of ‘Curling For Dummies.’ ‘A few years ago they were very good technically, but they didn’t have the strategy. Now they’ve got that down.’”

I’ve written before of my strange fascination with the sport of Curling, and how I missed watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the Chinese Curling teams during the Olympics last month. And now I’m missing the chance to see it LIVE.

This is especially disappointing because the venue is just walking distance from where I used to live and a bunch of my friends will be going!

I’d consider taking up the sport myself if it weren’t for these pesky screws in my knees!

Photo: AP, via Wall Wall Street Journal

I Miss the Chinese Curlers

For the first time since in years I am not watching Olympic coverage on CCTV5, the official Chinese sports channel. This means, of course, that I am missing out on watching the competitions the Chinese tend to do well in, like women’s speed skating and curling.

Yes, I said curling.

One of the funny things that happened during the Winter Games in Vancouver four years ago was the near ubiquitousness of the  Chinese curling squad on Chinese TV, never mind that no one (including me) had a clue what they were watching. But the non-stop coverage and excitement of the squad’s run to the bronze medal captivated the nation, and we all found ourselves cheering them on.

chinesecurlingteam

The Wall Street Journal blog China Real Time wrote about the squad yesterday in a post titled, China’s Curling Squad Resumes Its Quest for Olympic Gold in Sochi – China Real Time Report – WSJ:

“One of China’s greatest hopes for an Olympic medal at the Sochi Games lies once again in curling, the obscure pastime more associated with small Canadian and U.S. Midwestern towns than with Chinese mainstream sports.

 

The same Chinese women’s curling team that won a bronze at Vancouver in 2010 is back, led by Wang Bingyu. Standing just 5-feet-5, the bespectacled Wang is an unlikely candidate for Olympic hero, looking more the part of graduate student than elite athlete. She came to the sport, popular among its North American participants for its lengthy post-game beer-drinking sessions, when her hockey-coach father concluded she was too small for hockey and suggested she try it out.

 

But while the Chinese team arrived in Vancouver as a team on the rise, the same quartet has meandered its way to Sochi.”

I guess I’m going to have to look for coverage on the CCTV5 website, the sports channel in China.

And even if I can’t find coverage of the squad, I’m still rooting for them to win a medal!

Related Post: Watching CCTV

Image source: AFP, via WSJ