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Is the curling still on…?

19 February 2014

The Winter Olympics have been going on for over a week now, and we’ve been treated to a good ten hours of winter sports per day by the BBC. But they have a very odd way of choosing what we’re allowed to watch; mainly, it seems, curling and skating.

Brits have every reason to be proud of their curling teams, and of course they want to follow their progress. But why are there no other choices on offer? When Wimbledon’s on, we often have eight different courts to choose from via the ‘red button’, and for London 2012 the situation was the same. Hurrah, sports galore! No such luck in Sochi.

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Great Britain doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to the Winter Olympics, and no wonder. We may well complain about ‘arctic temperatures’ every year, but the reality is that we rarely see enough snow to ski on, or ice to skate on. But despite our weather not helping our cause, we still have fantastic indoor facilities and dry-slopes. What we lack is information and televised coverage of the range of sports on offer. It’s somewhat irritating to know that there are biathlon or Super-G events going on, but our aspiring athletes can’t watch them. The BBC can’t be blamed for Britain’s disappointing medal count – but if the full range of sports aren’t available, then no wonder people don’t get involved.

To be fair to the BBC they’ve done a very good job of commentating on the disciplines that they do show (even if they did cut off snowboarder Billy Morgan for saying ‘huck it’. No, not f*** it. HUCK it). But I wish they could do a little bit more – of everything. The Norwegians managed to break their own TV records on the opening weekend of the games, with 89.5% of viewers watching the cross-country.

#lovecurling has been trending on Twitter for the last couple of days, which is all well and good. But maybe if we paid attention to all of the Olympic sports – and therefore encouraged more competitors ­– we could have #lovewinterolympics trending in time for PyeongChang.

Camilla Swift is half-Norwegian, perhaps more so during the Winter Olympics. Impartiality is not guaranteed.

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Show comments
  • La Fold

    The womens curling team are all well tidy. Id take them all out for a prawn cocktail!

  • CharlietheChump

    Curling, tennis, bowls and snooker are only worth playing not watching.

  • rtj1211

    Yes it is and, in an unmitigated disaster for all British feminists, the boys have done better than the girls.

    Abolish the Olympics!!

  • Two Bob

    Snow joke. Thats for sure.

  • Daniel Maris

    A wonderful yawnfest so far…snow,ice…but what about their poor relation, slush? I am sure the downhill slush run would be fun.

  • john

    Much of the the Winter Olympics isn’t real sport at all – it’s TV entertainment. Curling is the same as lawn bowls – are they in the Summer Olympics? Ice dancing is a chance for pretty girls to show off expensive constumes – again is it an Olympic sport? Finally, the whole thing is pretty much limited to northern countries – not many tropical entrants in cross-country skiing.

  • Bert

    Mind numbingly dull as curling is it is far more riveting than the wall to wall oikball we are normally served

    • telemachus

      You would not say that if you had watched the exciting semi-final against the Swedes
      You will not say that when we land the Gold

      • Two Bob

        Well, in your world everyone should win gold….

        • telemachus

          You misunderstand
          All must have chance to pursue activities which with appropriate talent and industry might lead to Gold

    • Bert

      You are a truly vapid moron

  • alabenn

    Who are the two over excited juniors commenting on the snow boarding, they appear to be describing the talents of the various British skiers in exceedingly generous terms.

  • El_Sid

    To be fair, they have added a second red button service for the duration, and there’s up to 6 streams online. Considering that the Winter Games have never been a particularly big deal here, I think that’s pretty generous.

    The one real lowlight has been Alan Davies’ attempt to do a Last Leg, which has all the BBC’s flaws in microcosm. They had a real opportunity to get some fresh faces in from the snowboard generation, with visible enthusiasm for the Games. Instead we get one of the tired old middle-aged usual suspects, throw lots of manpower in guests and writers at the problem and still end up with turgid rubbish.

  • Colonel Mustard

    The BBC can show endless hours of the most moronic and boring “sport” in the world – curling. But not the test match.

    • Makroon

      Ha-ha, actually the so-called Winter Olympics is pretty much like cricket and rugby – a small group of self-selecting rich countries trying to pretend that this is a “world sports” fest. It is harmless and good for Norway, but richly deserves it’s obscurity.

      • HJ777

        Cricket is only played by rich countries?

        When did India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the West Indies stop playing cricket?

        • La Fold

          Not to mention Zimbabwe! Or the rugby teams of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. Another “Vivian out of the young ones” Marxist no doubt.

    • FF42

      Test match cricket is setting the bar almost as low as it can get* as far as riveting spectator sports are concerned. In comparison, curling presents itself quite well on TV. It fits onto a small screen and it happens slowly enough that you can see what’s going on even if you are not an expert.

      Incidentally, curling is a sport that complete beginners can enjoy to the full. It’s also the most sociable and courteous sport, at all levels.

      * Competing with baseball, but at least that game is over in a few hours whereas test match cricket goes on for days.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Cricket is not a sport for the severely intellectually challenged so I recommend you give it a miss.

        • FF42

          Whereas for the intellectually unchallenged …

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            I think you need to work on you wit as well.

            • FF42

              It seems I’m in no danger of being outwitted.

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