Curling in the Olympics
Curling in the Winter Olympic Games is an amazing experience for those that are talented enough to do so. Just like other athletes, curlers live in the Olympic Village, and meet athletes from different sports and nations. While the global curling community is tightly knit, compared to lots of other sports, curlers are always interacting with their competitors across the world. Now, let us shift our focus specifically to curling in the Olympics.
In an Olympic game of curling, 10 ends are played rather than 8 ends. 10 ends is the standard for national and international play. From there, curling is played just how it is everywhere else - 2 teams, 8 stones each, competing to win the game. There are two parts to the Olympic competition:
- Round Robin
In the Round Robin portion of the Olympics, each team will play all other teams once. There are only 10 curling teams that make it to the Olympics. Thus, each team will play 9 games in the Round Robin. The overall record of each team is tracked throughout this portion of the competition. The teams with the 4 best Round Robin records advance to the Playoffs.
After the Round Robin is complete, the Playoffs begin. The first round is the semi-finals. Two games are played - one between the 1st and 4th seeds, and one between the 2nd and 3rd seeds. The winners of those games advance to the Gold Medal Game. The losers of those games advance to the Bronze Medal Game.
The Gold and Bronze Medal games decide which teams will win which medals. The winner of the Gold Medal Game earns the Gold Medal. The loser of the Gold Medal Game earns the Silver Medal. The winner of the Bronze Medal Game earns the Bronze Medal. Unfortunately, the loser of the Bronze Medal Game does not win anything.
Outside of the competition, curlers and other Winter Olympic athletes have similar experiences. In the competition, there is a Round Robin portion in which all teams play each other once. After that, there are Playoffs for the Top 4 teams. The Playoffs determine which teams will win the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals.