So you may have heard that there was a big international curling bonspiel over in Sochi recently.
I hear there were some other sports going on as well… I want to say something about hurtling down a snow-covered mountain…?
I’ve never curled, never even seen a match in person, but I surprised even myself with how much I got wrapped up in Olympic curling these past two weeks. During prior Olympics it’s been more a matter of “Oh look, curling’s on, let me see if I can figure out what the heck they’re doing”.
Back in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the general concepts started falling into place for me, and I started to understand the objectives and strategies involved… but I didn’t really follow it so much as I just enjoyed watching matches.
This time around I’d watched some of the lead-up events that were televised, so going in I knew something about the teams and individuals. Once it started, and I kept up as best I could when there’s several curling matches on TV each day.
And I really got into it.
I’ll admit, part of my overdoing it had to do with the general “Get it while you can”, because I have no idea when I’ll be able to watch curling again… Hopefully I won’t have to wait until the late-2017 “Road To PyeongChang!” events.
Leading up to the Olympics, I toyed with the idea of creating a virtual Olympic card set, but I didn’t have any concrete ideas, and I figured I’d make it a set for the Olympics in general.
Then I got sucked into curling.
Then I got the idea of adapting the 1973 Topps baseball design for the virtual cards.
…and the next thing I knew, I had the beginnings of a set.
…Before I go much further, I should point out to anyone coming here through a search engine or otherwise that these are not actual and/or commercially available trading cards… they’re just cards I made up on my computer. It’s the kind of thing I do for fun.
I started doing the US teams, then if I appreciated someone on the other team, I’d do a card here, another two there… and the next thing I knew I had close to 20 made up.
Don’t worry, I won’t share them all with you here.
Not right now, anyway. :-)
Naturally, I have to include a card of at least one pair of the famous “Norwegian Pants”.
Completely made-up factoid: The Beatles song “Norwegian Wood” was originally called “Norwegian Pants”.
And when I awoke
I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire
I love to dance
In Norwegian pants.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t include a card featuring someone shouting…
…or the very intense stare of Eve Muirhead.
Going into the Olympics, I was optimistic that the US women would put on a good show, maybe even medal.
I saw a couple of lead-up events involving the U.S. Women’s team, and I thought they looked ready to make some noise at Sochi.
They also looked good in the first couple of ends of their first match, and then…
Sometimes they put up a good fight and came up short, like when they took Canada to the 10th end. Other times they just fell flat (not literally… although one curler on another team nearly did).
What happened to the U.S. teams? Where do they go from here? You’ll have to ask someone who knows what they’re talking about. Me, I just stayed behind the Americans until near the end of the round-robin, then I started following other teams I’d grown to appreciate during the tournament.
I will say that I was generally happy with the way things turned out. I’ll get into that more next weekend when I share the rest of my “set”.