If you haven't heard of "curling" then don't feel bad. Until a Russian curler and model named Anna Sidorova decided to don some lingerie and get on the ice with her heavy polished granite stones in advance of Sochi it is a good bet there were few who had thought much of the unusual sport, unless they have been following it since it was added to the 1998 Winter Olympics. MyFoxSports reported on Jan. 28 that Sidorova is bringing some heat to the ice with her unusual effort. And there is even a video making the rounds of her and her fellow team members practicing their "chess on ice" moves.
Sochi is mere days away from hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, but with America's own winter storm Leon blanketing the nation with snow and frigid temperatures, talk about the sport of curling might make some people recoil to their Lazy Boys and fireplaces. But not those who want to see how these women and men play this game--and what Sidorova looks like in that black lingerie get up.
Using long-handled tools known as "brooms," two curling team members called sweepers cut an icy path for a heavy granite stone to follow. The stone is controlled by a third member using the handle attached on top of the stone. The goal is to get all the team's stones (8) from one end of an icy competition area to the other side, and to place the stone as close to the desired circular target (house) as possible.
Anna Sidorova is the skip for the Russian National Curling Team, but her teammate Liudmila Privivkova, the third member of the team, best explains what you need in order to be a good player.
You not only have to be strong, you have to be good mentally. You have to think a lot about strategy. You have to feel confident."
The Team USA website says that in order to be good at this sport over the long haul requires "great nerves, a will to win and mental toughness." And according to them, this is a sport you can do all your life, experiencing only a modest decline in capability due to age.
Sidorva lead Ekaterina Galkina says that in order for the four members of Team Sidorva to be good at what they do, they have to "spend lots and lots of time together." And Anna says they spend approximately 300 days out of the year together.
Second team member Margarita Fomina says curling is good for her because she likes the people they encounter on their travels. And this national team does a lot of traveling, as they are continuing to win competitions far and wide.
Historically, the sport is believed to have been invented in medieval Scotland, and the first known curling club in America is believed to have been organized in 1830 in Michigan. It was called the Orchard Lake Curling Club and used hickory blocks instead of stones. Today there are 165 curling clubs in the U.S., with the state of Wisconsin boasting the greatest number of them, according to Team USA. And the stones generally weigh 42 pounds each.