Watching mixed doubles curling has made one thing painfully obvious.
Curling has listened to the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC wants to give out more medals, so new sports have been recently added to the Winter Olympics, like snowboarding and mogul skiing. Many sports have invented totally new competitions.
Curling already had mixed team events — a rarity in most sports — but instead mixed doubles curling was invented. Had anyone even heard about it before the last Olympics? Canada’s team is being decided this week in Portage la Prairie.
With two players per team, eight ends and 10 total rocks thrown per end, it’s a shorter, quicker game. Strategies change drastically. Sometimes the man throws first and fifth. Should he sweep or hold the broom? Blanking an end loses hammer. There are also some rules, regarding rock placements and the once-per-game power play, which are way too complicated to explain in one minute.
It’s different, kind of engaging, and it’s not nearly as stupid as synchronized diving.