A: What’s not to love about an Olympic sport that resembles the household task of “Swiffering” your kitchen floor? Originally created in 16th-century Scotland, curling primarily involves people sliding heavy granite rocks towards a bulls-eye on the ice.
Sure, it might sound boring, but it quickly gained popularity during the colder months. Before you could say “shuffleboard copycat,” the sport was big enough to necessitate a World Curling Federation. The game eventually evolved into a team sport consisting of four players per team. But just how four people curl is what’s so intriguing to watch.
One player throws the rock, a second player visually guides the stone from the opposite side of the ice, and two players (who we like to call the Swiffettes) adjust the stone’s trajectory by frantically sweeping brooms in front of the traveling rock to control its speed, direction and curl. While most popular in Canada, the rest of the world joined in on the rock-sliding goodness in 1998 when it became an official Olympic sport.