Saturday, February 14, 2015

Has Curling Lost Its Soul?

A fascinating piece in today's National Post from Sean Fitz-Gerald about the changing culture at the top of the game. He looks at how curling's rise as an Olympic sport has come with a cost -- the soul of the what used to be a friendly sport.

He quotes Mary-Anne Arsenault, who has seen the changes first-hand: 

“It used to be that you’d walk into a locker room and everyone was friends,” the veteran said earlier this week. “And now, people barely look at each other. It’s all ‘game-face.’”

And as for the reason why this is happening? 

“People are just a little more intense and really want to win,” Arsenault said. “There’s a lot on the line; there’s a lot of money that people invest, and time, and I don’t know if they figure it gives them an upper hand to snub you or if they’re just into it. It’s hard to say. I’m not in their heads.”

 And Arsenault's longtime skip, Colleen Jones added that the era of curling for fun is long gone.

“Those days of going into it for the fun, going into it just to try, going into it just because it has always been a sport where four guys from Timbuktu could get together and go, those are over,” said Jones, the decorated skip from Nova Scotia. “The number of teams who want to compete in the ‘A’ side of it, to be the elite of elite, is just going to go, ‘it just doesn’t look like that much fun.’”

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