Friday, February 29, 2008

Curling rocks!

Each winter, the Division of Atmospheric Sciences takes a day off and goes on a winter recreation day. Leap Day was that day this year. With little snow around, skiing was not an option so people went curling and skating.

I was first introduced to curling when I worked as a forecaster for the National Weather Service at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. We had a TV on in the forecast office that was tuned to NBC so we could get live pictures of the weather at the venues. During downtime, the forecasters were fascinated with curling. About as exciting as bowling when viewed live, the broadcasters on TV made the sport really interesting (and the boring parts were edited out). Ever since, I wanted to try curling. That day was today.

Curling is like shuffleboard on ice. The goal is to get your stones inside the blue circle and closer to the bullseye than the other team. Four players on each team take turns throwing two stones a piece in each round. Games last ten rounds. Here you see Risto Makkonen releasing his stone, and the other team surveying the location of the stones on the other end of the ice to determine their strategy.


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