«In sports, like in life, it is essential to feel your team's support. After a bad throw, you should be able to quickly recover and concentrate on the next one. In such cases, the team's advice and encouragement play a key role. We are doing the same thing together on the way towards success!»
urling originated in the 16th century in Scotland, where games were played during the winter on frozen ponds, lochs and marshes. The Stirling Stone, engraved with the date 1511, is considered to be the oldest curling stone in the world. The earliest reports of curling came from Paisley Abbey, Scotland, in 1541. In the 1600s, stones with handles were introduced in all shapes and sizes. Rounded stones, similar to those currently used, appeared in the 19th century.
Curling first appeared as a medal sport at 1924 Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix but only in 2006 was it formally accepted by the International Olympic Committee and given its Olympic debut.
Curling was also a demonstration sport at the Games of 1932, 1988 and 1992.
It has been a full medal sport and part of the Olympic Program since 1998.
Curling in Russia
Curling came for the first time to Russia at the end of the 19th century as a leisure pursuit for foreign diplomats and businessmen. Modern curling was re-established in Russia in 1991 at the Lesgaft University of Physical Education, Sports and Health in St. Petersburg.
Curling as it is
Curling is a sport game played between two teams composed of four players each. The game is played on ice, and members of both teams deliver a 19.96 kg stone towards a circular target area, called the "house" alternating with an opponent. The objective is to get the stone closer to the Center of the circles than any stone of the opposition.
One game consists of ten “ends”. During each end, each team steers eight stones — two stones per person, alternating with the opponent. Team members deliver the stones in a set order presented to officials before the game. The first player is known as the lead. He/she is followed by the second, then the third (also known as the vice-skip) and finally the skip, or team leader.
After all 16 stones have been delivered the score is determined. Only one team can score per end. A team scores one point for each of its own stones located in or touching the house that is closer to the center of the house than any of the opposition's stones. The team with the most points after 10 ends is the winner. If the score is tied after the 10th end, an “extra-end” period is added. Extra ends are played until one side wins.
There are two medal events in curling: men’s and women’s team competition.
- A broom is used to sweep the ice surface in front of the stone. Sweeping creates a film of water between the stone and the ice, which reduces friction, thereby reducing the stone's deceleration and straightening its trajectory or “curl”. Curling brooms can have fabric, hog hair, or horsehair heads. There are also corn/straw brooms, although they are used rarely nowadays.
- Special curling shoes have different soles. One has an extremely slippery sole made from Teflon, plastic or steel and is used on the sliding foot. The other is made from rubber and provides much-needed traction on the ice.
- A curling stone is traditionally made in Scotland of rare, dense granite. Each stone weighs 19.96 kg, is polished and is circular in shape.
- Each playing surface is 45.72 m long and not more than 5 m wide, with a target — or house — at either end.
Curling in Sochi
The “Ice Cube” Curling Center is located in the coastal cluster among the Olympic Park's various other facilities. The Center is situated only 1.5 km from the Olympic Village.
The design of the “Ice Cube” Curling Center relies on a combination of smooth and well-rounded contours reminiscent of the shape of the curling stone and accentuated by the bright polished surfaces of its facades. This creates an immediately recognizable and memorable image of a building that evokes inclusiveness, accessibility and, at the same time, the festivity that is characteristic of the Olympic Winter Games.
The seating capacity of the facility is 3,000 spectators.
The “Ice Cube” Curling Center will open in 2012.
After the Games, the arena will be transported to another location, where it will become a national training Center for Russian National teams.