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.
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