Updated on March 14, 2009
Human siren stirs US curlers
Vancouver’s new Hillcrest Olympic curling facility is in action this week, hosting the World Junior Championships. With general admission at $10 a seat, it’s a relatively cheap and easy way to see how much $39 million will buy you when it’s time to host a global winter sport event.
It all looked good yesterday, the stands about half-full with supportive fans from around the world. The Canadians were loud, the Swedes less so, but the stand-out noisemakers were the Americans, singing “Yankoo Doodle Dandy” at the top of their lungs under the direction of a human siren armed with a cow bell.
It was not a good morning for Canada. The PEI team skipped by 19-year-old Brett Gallant lost 6-4 to Scotland, but remained in the lead overall. It was some consolation that the team had handily beat China in an earlier match. China? Now a force in curling, too?
The general good vibe in the place was a reminder of the countless small competitions around the world, organized and not-so-organized, that all build to a crescendo with world championships and then the Olympic Games. That’s the real Olympic “movement,” the reason that the vast cost and confusion of the Games seems worthwhile to so many.