Does curling reinforce bad stereotypes?

We’ve finished watching the 2022 Olympics with less enthusiasm than we have watched the event in past years.  There just wasn’t an “it” factor in the games, with lots of irritating distractions on so many levels.

Women’s curling

One thought that occurred to me as I watched what seemed to be an overload of TV coverage of curling was this: With women’s curling, where team members are constantly sweeping a floor, isn’t that reinforcing a negative stereotype that women are just constantly relegated to sweeping up — mostly the messes that men make? Maybe instead of brooms, women could be allowed use some kind of high powered air gun to help “curl” the stones on their way down the ice floor.

Another thought I had was that curling really doesn’t seem to have much in common with folks like me in the desert. Maybe we could invent a game where we “curl” tumbleweeds down a dry stretch of the Rio Grande. 

The one event at the Olympics I always like to watch is the downhill alpine event. As a skier, it’s the one event I wish I had the courage to do. There is something about making sweeping turns at high speed on a ski slope that is invigorating. If only someone could guarantee that I would never fall and get injured, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

I was fortunate enough to be a ski racer on a very modest level in the old UNM Corporate Cup program. The Corporate Cup was a citizens ski race program which held several races each year at resorts around the state. It provided financial support to the UNM ski team, which regrettably was cancelled about three years ago.

I actually did fairly well in the races. I never fell and consistently won “gold” in my age class. The races were all giant slalom events —  a few gates with enough room in between to get your speed up and your adrenalin rushing. 

But I’m sure it was nothing like the rush of skiing in an Olympic or World Cup downhill where you reach speeds in excess of 90 miles an hour and have nothing but a thin spandex suit and a plastic helmet to protect you. 


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