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The Madera Tribune

Fun in the snow and on the ice

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webmaster | 02/15/14

Watching the Olympics this week has been greatly entertaining. Seeing the “slope style” snowboarders and skiers, for example, is a thrill every few seconds, especially when the athletes launch themselves into the air and start to spin and do somersaults.

That is something I could never do. In the first place, I’m not athletic enough, and in the second place I think it would make me throw up when I hit the ground and broke some of my bones. At my age, I’m getting so I don’t like pain — as if I ever did.

The ice dancers also are fascinating. The men lift the women and spin them up in the air, and then catch them before they come back down and break their bones. I can just see Mrs. Doud — or the cat, for that matter — letting me try something like that. The women who are spun into the air must be very glad when they come down safely instead of crumpled in a heap on the ice.

But the really big source of thrills is the curling competitions. Curling is a sport I probably could do. (It is not a sport that involves trying to see how many curlers you can put into somebody’s hair, just in case you were wondering. It is more like rock-pushing across a sheet of ice — shuffleboard on steroids.)

Curling involves no somersaults or spinning in the air. The players take turns shoving 40-pound stones toward targets, while other players flail wildly at the ice with little brooms in an effort to try to have an influence on where the stone winds up, which is supposed to be in the middle of a target or knocking an opponent’s stone into kingdom come. Oh, the excitement.

The Canadians love curling, as do the people of Scotland, where it was invented. The first curling trophy was called the Scotch Cup, and you might imagine what the winners drank from it once they had it in their hands.


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