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Beijing Winter Olympic Games set off a 'curling' boom

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-02-17 15:24

Children experiencing floor curling in the first class of school in a kindergarten in Beibei District, Chongqing on 16 Feb, 2022. [Photo/ Xinhua]

With Beijing Games underway, winter sports are trending in China. Curling, known as "chess on ice", is favored by many Chinese sports fans, according to US media outlets.

Curling is a hypnotically repetitive Winter Olympics sport that involves sliding polished, round stones along a sheet of ice. The curling stones for regular games are traditionally made of pieces of rare granite quarried from a remote, storm-swept island in Scotland. They are smoothed to perfection by a company with over 170 years of experience. A set of curling stones costs about 200,000 yuan.

The objects used in Chinas "unofficial curling-like games" are creative, hand-made copies of the 20 kg curling stone. The players use their imagination to join in the fun with kettles, woks, ice cubes and even a sad-face dog sitting in a plastic tub.

An online video shows a player competing by sliding pressure cookers and woks.

Another video shows a man in Inner Mongolia, a freezing province in northern China, cut a chunk of ice into a fairly passable replica of a curling stone.

The man, known by the name of Sun, says in the video, "I couldn't watch the game in-person, so I decided to make an Olympic ring and a curling stone to show my love for the sport and the Games."

Some fans play curling on their own floor at home, using a cube of ice with a cucumber in the middle as the handle. The homemade "curling stones" works well on the floor tiles.

In the curling game, the brush is used by players to sweep in front of the stone to warm its path, allowing it to travel further if desired. This device can be easily replaced by a broom or mop for "private games".

Over 300 million people in China have taken up winter sports thanks to the Winter Olympics. With great passion in the sports, the game lovers can always have their fun with fancy ideas.

You may also try to play the winter games at home!

Wang Yanqiang and Wu Fan from Fudan University contributed to this story.

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