Thursday, February 16, 2006

Olympic Update

Curling is of course creating new fans, and this report from the Torino 2006 Website is a great sign of its potential for popularity.
Nearly five million Italians tuned in to watch Italy's unranked men pull off a shocker on Wednesday evening, winning their second straight game and upsetting highly rated United States 6-5 before a stand full of roaring fans. "Curling had a bigger audience than figure skating," Franco Zumofen, Italy's ice sports federation vice president told Reuters on Thursday barely able to hide his astonishment.

Turin Olympics Organising Committee were similarly amazed by a 23 percent audience share for a sport with nothing in common with football, Italian's traditional sporting pursuit.

"Almost five million viewers for curling, in a country like Italy where football is the favourite sport, is completely unexpected," Giuseppe Gattino, a Turin organising committee spokesman told a news conference

Meanwhile, our women's team is 3-2, while Sweden and Switzerland are at 4-1, and Rhona Martin's GB rink is at 3-1, and they have been winning some very interesting matches. Our men are at 4-1, despite an apparent difficulty the mellow young Newfoundlanders have in the face of Russ Howard's intensity (according to an article in this morning's Star).


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