On Tuesday night, I had tickets to see preliminary Men's Curling at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. The matches to see were Canada-Germany, France-China, and USA-Norway. With three games going on at once, it is a great event for the multi-tasker, as there is always something to watch.
I have spent many, many hours watching curling on TV on cold winter days in Ontario, so I was interested to see how it was in real-life. I was also excited to see Team Canada play because I had followed the Canadian Olympic qualification tournament in December. One other thing I wanted to see were the Norwegian's pants and they didn't disappoint. We were wondering how they came to the decision to wear those pants, what teammate brought it up to the rest of the team? Even their coach had them on!
We were sitting at the 5 rows up from the front at the hog-line close to sheet D where Norway and the USA were playing. Canada was playing across the venue on Sheet A. Before the start, all competitors were piped in, something that I thought just happened at Canadian events.
The spirit in the building was huge from the start. As soon as the first rock was thrown, the cheers started. Almost everyone was in their Canada clothing, and had come to cheer. I am not sure that they everyone knew what they were cheering for. The guys behind us 9from Boston) were trying to understand the game by comparing it to their table shuffleboard experience, but they were willing to learn more about things from the many curling fans around us. One thing about curling is that there is a lot of beer, which helps makes for rowdy fans, I think. BTW, the concessions sold an interesting variety of options, besides hotdogs, they had chili, sushi, Jamaican patties, salmon caesar salad, and of course, banana bread! Not sure if that is a curling thing or just that there was left-over banana bread somewhere.
We were treated to some exciting games. Canada won handily 9-4 (Germany conceded after the 9th), but the other games went down to the final rocks(USA-Norway even went to an extra end). Even though Canada's game was over much earlier, the crowd stayed and cheered for the remaining teams. I think that the feeling from the Olympic fans in Vancouver is that they are here to cheer and have a good time, no matter what. The spirit is there no matter whether they are at preliminary Curling or gold medal Hockey.