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11 April 2017

Car Curling - The Next Big Winter Sport?

Img: The Telegraph 
When you think of winter sports, activities such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and bobsleighing likely spring to mind. Team sports like ice-hockey are also popular and something you’d expect to see at the Winter Olympics – they’re all pretty standard sports, performed on ice and snow.

Curling is a team-sport which isn’t people’s first thought, however it’s a popular and skilled sport similar to bowls, boules and shuffleboard. Traditional curling originated in Scotland in the 16th century, with the game between two four-player teams on frozen lakes. First introduced to the Olympic programme at the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924, curling has since been extremely popular in winter sporting events.

What you wouldn’t expect to see when you switch on the curling coverage, however, are cars instead of granite stones traveling across the ice towards the target zone. But in Russia, the new craze of Car Curling is exactly that – modified cars in place of stones.

In the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, the county’s first ever car curling tournament was held at the end of March, where teams of 10 pushed cars across the ice-rink to be victorious in being closest to the target.
The cars aren’t heavy-duty Land Rovers, or expensive sporty-types; Russian-made Oka cars were used, modified for the game. Heavy parts like the engine and gear box were removed to ensure they were light-weight for the teams to push and able to glide over the ice.

The idea for the game stemmed from recent car accidents in Russia, caused by black ice. The organisers were actually managers of a car insurance company, and one of the tournaments organisers Galina Kirkach comments on how the idea came about:

 “In autumn and spring, when there is black ice, something like auto curling happens on the roads,
“Once my friends brought me to go curling, and this reminded me of that [black ice]. And an idea came to me to change stones for cars.”

See the sport in action in the video below, courtesy of The Telegraph:

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.