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COULD there BE a BOTSWANA CURLING TEAM?

Yes, I know the word is “Batswana” but that might confuse my US readers.  But the question is not a silly one:  Botswana has one of the highest standards of living in all of Africa.  And Africa will be underrepresented in the Winter Olympics.

So how does Botswana do it:  Have a world -class curling team?  Some thoughts:

1.  Botswana would need 6-8 (maybe more) sheets of dedicated Olympic style ice – so as to host the curling competition at the 2022 or 2026 Games.  Africa could put up a bid – say RSA and Botswana together.  And Botswana could host the curling and thus enter as the host team.

2.  Botswana needs a name coach – the best example in my humble opinion is Kevin Martin, the former Canadian gold medal skip.  Martin’s done it all:  Two Olympic medals, a world championship and numerous other awards and honors.  Here is the first paragraph from Wikipedia:

Kevin Martin (born July 31, 1966), nicknamed “The Old Bear” and “K-Mart”,[1] is a Canadian curler from Edmonton. He is a four-time Brier champion, has been to three Winter Olympics, and was the gold medal winner at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He is a former World Champion and has won 14 Grand Slam titles on the World Curling Tour (the media count 17,[2] including three Players’ Championships won prior to its inclusion as a Grand Slam event). Over the course of his career, his teams have won around $2 million. He was the first skip to win a “career Grand Slam,” winning a title in each Grand Slam event, after he won the Players’ Championships Grand Slam event in April 2005. Martin holds the record for the most Olympic victories, with 20 total wins at the Olympics.

I of course cannot speak for Martin, never have had the honor of meeting him, but I would think a new challenge of bring his sport to an entire continent and coaching a winning team might be (for enough boodle, too) irresistible.  Maybe Pete Fensom might be another name coach.  He led the US to a surprise bronze medal.

3.  Botswana needs a national curling club – actually a series of clubs – now I could do that part for one of my favorite countries if asked!  The head of that club would answer to the Botswana Olympic Chairman who would answer to the sports minister.  A dynamic speaker who could inspire others to the cause – perhaps a former athlete – might be a sound choice.

4.  From the national club(s) would come the national team.  The glory and some pecuniary benefit would impel many to try curling.

I am fully aware that nations have serious issues and Botswana is no exception.  But there is room for a bit of national pride and leading the continent.  I know some African nation will take up curling and it is one of the few substantially pure sports left in the Olympics, untainted by sports imperialism.  I’d like to see Botswana do it.  After all, look what bobsledding did for Jamaica!

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “COULD there BE a BOTSWANA CURLING TEAM?”

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    1. […] a great article on the African nations trying out for the Olympics.  (I have blogged on the desirability of Botswana to field a curling team and what it would take!)   I am especially excited about the […]


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