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US MEN’S CURLING TEAM qualifies for the SOCHI OLYMPICS! NO SPORTS IMPERIALISM in CURLING!

It was great to see the short five minute news report on my cable’s on demand service:  The team led by a 2006 Bronze medalist team member, John Shuster, defeated his old boss so to speak, the team led by Pete Fensom and qualified for a tournament to select several finalists for the 2014 Games.  Here’s the report from the Minneapolis StarTribune on how Team Shuster (Team USA) defeated the Czech Republic national team to qualify for the Olympic Games.  (The women’s curling team, from Minnesota and Wisconsin, did not need to qualify for the Games and they are in!)

Winning the U.S. Olympic curling trials should have been cause for celebration, but John Shuster and his crew knew their task was only half complete. The Duluth skip and his Minnesota teammates still had to qualify for a place in the 2014 Winter Olympics, leaving them with some serious work to do before the party could start in earnest.

The foursome finally got to raise that long-delayed toast Sunday. They rallied to beat the Czech Republic 8-5 in the last game of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Fuessen, Germany, to claim the final spot in the Sochi Olympics. Shuster and teammates Jeff Isaacson of Gilbert, Jared Zezel of Hibbing and John Landsteiner of Duluth won five consecutive games to end the tournament and came back from a 3-2 deficit late in the final match.

It’s great to see a sport remarkably untouched by sports imperialism.  Curling is so.  Check out this article about the UK women’s curling team from the StarTribune:

Women’s curling in Britain has undergone a generational shift since Rhona Martin, a 36-year-old from a small Scottish village, led Britain to an unlikely gold medal in Salt Lake City in 2002. More than 6 million Britons stayed up into the early hours to watch Martin’s team, labeled the “housewife superstars” by the British media, become overnight sensations in a sport many previously didn’t even know existed.

Of course, the British has to even subsidize curling (but maybe these are private contributions)!

Eleven years later, things have changed dramatically. British curling at the highest level has gone professional, a fund of 5 million pounds ($8.2 million) is dedicated to the country’s Olympians over four years, and there is as much gym work as practice on the ice. Sports psychologists — in Britain’s case, a former Bolshoi ballet dancer — and strength and conditioning coaches are part of the support staff.

But this, regrettably, is not sports imperialism – well, not yet.   But it is time to get ready for Sochi:  GO USA CURLING and all other non-professional sports.  Sorry hockey.  No time for you this year.  I’ll watch Miracle instead!  Now no Miracle on Ice is possible as the pros have choked out the amateurs in another unfair, imperialistic way that favors major powers.  Feel free to tell the US Olympic Committee how you feel!

Let me remind everybody two things:  There IS CURLING in RVA this Olympics (thanks in small part to a certain blogger) and here’s the FB page and a website to find out more!  Try chess on ice!  I’d like to see 500 or more new people come out for a curling try here in Richmond!  Second, my views on sports (or anything else) are just that MY VIEWS and not the views of the Curling Club of Virginia.  I do hope before I am too old to enjoy it to see a Richmonder or even a Virginian on the USA Olympic curling team!

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)

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