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15th Feb 2018

An idiot’s guide to Olympic Curling

The centre target has unexpected powers that are WILD

Ciara Knight

Curling. As in the sport. Not the hairstyle. Also not pooping.

The Winter Olympics are currently underway, which means for the next couple of weeks, we are all experts in winter sports.

We’ll be using phrases such as “His form was way off”, “If you don’t put the time into your training, you’re not going to see the results” and “Fucking hell, I could do better than that”.

But all jokes aside, what the heck is up with curling? It’s bananas. Just when you think you’ve figured out the objective of the game, someone starts furiously sweeping and then abruptly stops because their teammate is shouting codeword obscenities at them.

To unlock our true right to be curling spectators, we must first understand how curling works.

Step 1: First, you must bring the stone for a walk

When you successfully convince Mummy and Daddy to allow you to get a pet stone, you must prove to them that you deserve it by looking after it properly. Experts recommend taking your stone for one long walk or two short walks every day. Mix that with a balanced diet and a decent amount of love and affection and you’re sure to have a happy little stone. To avoid scuffing your stone, it’s recommended that you take it for a walk on a smooth surface, such as a patch of ice roughly 146-150ft in length and 14.5-16.5ft in width.

Once you’re walking the stone, you’ll find that it tugs away from you quite a bit. This is completely normal as stones tend to get excited when they’re brought out of the house. Just keep a firm grip on the handle and it won’t escape. It’s not a bad idea to keep some treats on hand when you’re walking your stone as they can be a good bargaining tool or reward if it curls one out in a suitable place. Remember, stones are brilliant pets, but you must look after them if you want to see them live out a long and happy life.


Step 2: When you feel confident enough, simply let go of the stone

This may feel incredibly daunting at first, but your stone needs to know that you trust it enough to make its own way in the world. Excuse the morbidity, but you’re not going to be around forever. Who’s going to look after your stone when you die? Not your parents, it was your decision to get a stone in the first place so the onus is firmly on you when it comes to that baby’s welfare. In order to let it grow both emotionally and physically, you must show your faith in it. Just let go.

As you release and see your stone out in the wild on its own, you’re going to be worried at first. That’s completely natural, but you’re soon going to be overcome with pride. That’s your stone gliding across the ice. You’ve nurtured it and now it’s growing right in front of your very eyes. Sure, it’s not exactly whizzing down the ice, but we can fix that. Just focus on the wonderment that is human life. Your stone, regardless of its own fears and anxieties, is fending for itself. Take a deep sigh of relief. You’ve raised a winner.



Once your bursting pride at the stone’s independence has fizzled away, your emotions are going to turn to rage. Why isn’t the stone moving in a straight line? Sure, you’ve been nurturing this piece of granite up until now, but the stakes suddenly got higher. This stone isn’t going for a walk, it’s competing in the Winter Olympics. You’ve tricked it, you deceitful son of a bitch. Your parents are idiots, they actually thought you wanted a pet stone? Bullshit, all you want is the sweet success that comes with an Olympic gold medal and a sponsorship deal with Nike.

Now shout your bloody lungs out. Scream at this moronic piece of stone. “MOVE IT LARD ARSE, GET UP THE FUCKEN YARD, LET’S GO, LOOK LIVELY. COME ON YOU PIECE OF SHIT I WANT TO SEE SOME HUSTLE. I DIDN’T PUT YOUR LAZY ASS THROUGH MONTESSORI AND GCSEs FOR YOU TO EMBARRASS ME LIKE THIS IN FRONT OF ALL THESE PEOPLE YOU USELESS SACK OF SHITE”, etc. Shout at your teammates as well because they’re useless too. Everyone is a waste of space except you. Yell ‘SPORTS’ if you want. I literally do not care.


STEP 4: Quickly clear the stone’s path because it has a debilitating dust allergy

Yeah fair enough you’ve exploited your pet stone for a chance at Olympic glory, but you don’t want the fucker to die in the process. It’s had a chronic dust allergy since birth and ice is a notorious dust magnet, so you better get out there and break your arse scrubbing a clean path for the little bugger. You can enlist the help of your teammates, but as we all know, if you want anything done right you’re going to have to do it yourself. You just can’t get the help these days, tbh.

When you feel that the dust has been sufficiently cleared, you can take a slide backwards and let the stone fly solo again. It’s going to carry on moving whether you’re there or not. If the dust allergy makes its presence felt, a quick puff of a prescription inhaler should do the trick. If the problem persists for longer than a day or two, it might be no harm to consult your local GP to make sure that the allergies aren’t related to anything more serious. Use your own discretion. You’ll know if things feel wrong.


Step 5: Get your stone as close to the centre as possible

**This next part is strictly for over 18s only**

Ok. So this is what sex is. When your stone lands dead in the centre of the target, it will become pregnant and give birth to a series of smaller stones nine months later. There will be other stones present in the ring, but the one that gets closest to the centre will be the victor. The egg will become fertilised and there’s no going back at that point. Your parents were absolutely right when they warned you about the grave responsibilities that come with having your own pet.

Now comes the fun part. The circle of stone life is complete. We will not run out of stones for another 200 years thanks to your efforts. You will be rewarded with precisely one gold Olympic medal. Congratulations. You are a hero. You will appear in the regional paper and if you can keep your fitness and determination up, you might be able to take part in the next Winter Olympics. You may be taken to provide a urine sample before you can start your celebrations, but that is standard procedure. Once that’s done, you’re free to bask in Olympic glory.


Step 6: Confession Time

Ok, you’ve caught me. I still have no idea how curling works.

I strongly suspect it has something to do with hair.

Sorry for wasting your time.



Images via Eurosport