I couldn’t let the Olympics go by without mention. It was easy to think of an angle that related to the topic of writing, how athletes (like authors) have to train so hard (engage in the discipline of writing), develop their skills (learn their craft), work as a team (find critique partners, join Agent Query Connect), get a coach (attract a literary agent), and then face the reality that there are only three medals to go around (many more authors than publishing opportunities). That they’d better love what they do for the sake of doing it, because most will never achieve a significant victory. But what I really want to talk about is those shoes that the curlers wear.
First of all, Curling? It’s only been an Olympic event since 1998, but somehow has recently garnered more evening air time than all the other events combined. Or at least it seems like it! My older son and I have watched, trying to discern the rules of the game. We find it oddly fascinating, yet restful, sort of like watching bowling or golf. Maybe that’s why they have it on so late, so that people can just drop off to sleep.
Wanting to know more about the sport, I googled it, and came across a fabulously in-depth post on Wikipedia.com: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curling which lists everything you might ever want to know about it, including where it originated. (Scotland! And I had assumed Canada.)
But back to those shoes. Every winter when I was little, I had a pair of cheap winter boots that were great for sliding on the ice. Each year, the first thing I usually did in my new boots was to test their sliding factor. Did they keep me from slipping, yet allow me the luxury of a good long slide when I was in the mood? As I’ve aged, the quality of my boots has gotten better, but I miss being able to slide so easily.
According to the Wikipedia article, the curlers’ shoes actually have teflon on them! I was wondering how the curlers keep from falling, but now know that one of the shoes has a textured surface, and the “slider” shoe has a textured cover that slips over it for better traction. For those who cannot afford a pair of official slider shoes, electrical tape on the bottom a tennis shoe may be utilized.
I’m going to try it.
P.S. Doesn’t China having a curling team make you think of those Jamaican bobsledders?”