Spotlight Sport: Curling

Curling is a team sport played by two teams of four players on a rectangular sheet of ice. Players must slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. The aim is to get the highest score; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the target once both teams have thrown all of their stones.

One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling originated in the 16th century in Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen ponds and lochs. Curling began Olympic life at the first Olympic Winter Games at Chamonix 1924, in which Team GB won gold!

Facts about Curling

  • In Scotland, curling competitions were held outdoors on frozen lochs and ponds until the advent of indoor ice rinks in the 20th century.
  • There are two types of Curling broom. The most common is a brush or “push broom”. The other is a corn/straw/Canadian broom, which, with long bristles, looks much like a normal broom.
  • For indoor tournaments the artificially created ice has its surface sprinkled with water droplets which freeze into tiny bumps on the surface. Called “pebbled ice”, this surface helps the stone’s grip and leads to more consistent curling.
  • Its nickname, “The Roaring Game”, originates from the rumbling sound the 44-pound (19.96kg) granite stones make when they travel across the ice.

Athlete Q&A:

Full name:
Claire Hamilton

Date of birth:
31.01.1989

Achievements:
Olympic bronze medal 2014, World Champion 2013, European champion 2011, European silver medallist 2012& 2013. Scottish womens’ champion 2011, 2012, 2013.

How did you get into curling?
I started playing when I was 8 years old, mainly through friends and family who already played and we were lucky enough to have the facilities across from my school!

Why should people try curling?
I think curling is something everyone should at least try! It is a very difficult sport but it is also known for being a very sociable sport, and people of all ages and fitness levels can participate.

What is your first memory of the Olympic Games?
The first memory of the Olympic Games that really stands out for me was at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, when Rhona Martin and her team won the gold medal for GB in curling. I was 13 years old and can remember being allowed to stay up late to watch the final – from then on my aim was to have the same success.

Why should young people take part in the Road to Rio challenge?
This is a fun way to get active and encourage others around to you join in at the same time. It gives you a challenge and the good thing is you can choose whichever means you like to complete it. It’s also a great way to get involved and show your support for Team GB in the run-up to the games in Rio.

What is your involvement in the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games?
During the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, I will be the Young Ambassador for GB. The main aims of the YOG is to compete, learn and share, and my job is to take the athletes through the learn and share part of this, which is delivered through a number of activities, for example, injury prevention, sports nutrition and cultural education. I will also be there as a support for what will be, for many of the athletes, their first big multi sport event.

Watch as Team Muirhead re-live their medal moment from Winter Olympics at Sochi 2014.