Monday, February 10, 2014

Russian fans have no idea what's going on at curling but yelling just the same

Just as it was in Vancouver, it appears the curling rink is the place to be in Sochi. According to this column by Cathal Kelly in the Toronto Star, the fans here are the loudest and possibly most ill-informed about what they are watching, than at any other venue.

Of course in Vancouver, the fans knew the game but were only slightly less informed about the usual decorum of a curling event. They cheered misses – at least at the start of the week – and in one of the most memorable parts of the Olympics, started an impromptu singing of ‘Oh Canada’ that stopped the action on the ice as every last fan in the building stood up to join in.

In Russia, the fans – almost all Russians and apparently a good number of them seat-filling volunteers – are screaming loud and at possibly the wrong times. But they seem to be having fun.

Only a Debbie McCormick yell stopped them for a moment.

The crowd at the Ice Cube Curling Centre may be the most consistently loud in the history of the sport, mainly because they have no idea what the hell is going on. 
It’s an oasis of agitation in what is otherwise an Olympic experience of depressing calm. Outside, it’s The Day After. In here, it’s Thunderdome. 
This crowd screams at everything. The screamed in the (Moscow-based) bagpipers. They screamed when any Russian curler twitched. At one point, they were screaming across the arena at each other. 
The only time they quieted was whenAmerica’s Debbie McCormick unleashed an epic “HARD!” in the early going. That unnerved them for a moment. Then they were back at it.

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