Saturday, March 13, 2010

Curling, sans le crier/Curling without the shouting

Today marked the 1st day of the sporting events for the 2010 Paralympics. What better way to start off with some sledge and wheelchair curling?

The rocks slid today at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, in Vancouver's Hillcrest Park. This venue served as both the curling venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. There were 3 sents of games going on, involving Italy vs Japan, Sweeden vs Korea, Norway vs UK, and Canada vs US. Most of the crowd was however focused on the Canada vs US game. Now, I don't know much about curling. But I know that it involves rocks, yelling, and sweeping. What I found out was there is quite a difference between Paralympic and Olympic curling.

The main thing is the athletes do not sweep, they merely use the stick to push it to get it near the centre on the far side of the ice. So one cannot yell the familiar "harder!" while playing wheelchair curling. But it was interesting. Watching them, they all possess the skill needed to do the sport. One holds the back of the wheelchair, the other pushes the rock, and there is a teammate at the end watching it. In the end Canada won over US, which provided lots of cheering and celebration from the audience. There was quite a big crowd of red and white, many of which waved Canadian flags. 2nd biggest supporters were Korea. Many waved the Korea flag. Im glad that wheelchair curling got so much support. They work hard and deserve to be recognized like any other athlete. Im so glad to see that we have come so far in accepting and treating others equal. Unfortunately, not all countries share the same support for their Paralympic athletes. But hopefully this will change in the future, as countries get more exposure and see other countries support all their athletes.

The support was great. We did the curling "wave" and many started chants and foot stomping. Lisa, Riley and I were able to get down to ice level for a bit wth Kate and her cousin. I also met my Encounters With Canada leader, Bonnie.

Thats all for today folks, and don't forget, set y'all clocks foward an hour tonight, we're losing an hour sleep.

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