Curling…. and More Fun Facts and Photos

My favorite sport in the Winter Olympics is curling.
I’ve never tried it, but it looks like a combination of shuffleboard and bowling on ice.  How hard can that be?
One person grabs the handle on a 42-pound stone and slides it down a sheet of ice, while his teammates use hand brooms to sweep furiously in front of it.
I’ve played shuffleboard a few times, I know how to bowl with a frozen Butterball turkey, and I’ve been sweeping out my garage for years, so I’m already trained.
Sure, it looks silly, but it would be the sport that gives me the best chance to make the Olympic team.  I’m guessing this, only because Scott Baird was 54 when he made the Team USA curling team at the 2006 Torino Games.  And this year our oldest Olympians in any sport are curlers John Benton, 40, a computer technician from St. Benton, Minn., and Tracey Miller Sachtjen of Lodi, Wis., who turns 41 during the Vancouver Games.
The captain of the U.S men’s team is John Shuster of Duluth, Mi…, who is a part-time bartender. (A wise guy would say that enables him to practice 12-ounce curls while he’s working, but I would never do that, Hah!!)
Our men’s team also has a substitute teacher ( Jeff Isaacson of Gilbert, Minn.) and a construction worker (Jason Smith of Cape Coral, Fla.).  So why not me??
"Real Sports", an HBO sports show, just did a feature on curling.  The correspondent described Team USA as "a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of, playing a game you know nothing about."  The segment showed the men’s team during it’s summer training camp in Duluth, Minn., lounging around the two-bedroom apartment they share, relaxing and eating fast food from McDonald’s and drinking Mountain Dew.  Again, I could handle that.  The correspondent went on to mock the sport saying, "It’s the only Olympic you can win a gold medal for good housekeeping".  Hey, no snickering here, because curling is a serious sport, especially in Canada, where it ranks second only to hockey.  TSN, the biggest sports network in Canada, airs hundreds of hours of curling annually and more than a million residents compete recreationally.  One curler explained, "We have long winters here.  There’s not a lot to do".
He also said that there are curling groupies.  "They’re all about 75 years old with blue hair".  That clinches it.  I’m going into serious traing today.
Broom please.  I’m heading to the garage.
Dumb Sports
Curling might be the oddest sport in the Winter Games, but not the oddest Olympic sports of all time.
I came up with these, No Lie!!
* Live pigeon shooting (1900 Paris Games).
* Rope climbing (1896, 1904, 1924, 1932).
* Pistol dueling (1906). At least they used mannequins bearing targets.
* Tug of war (1900-1920).
And now, todays photo gallery:
And Finally:
Faster than a squeezing cupid: Ohio man sets record with 7,777 hugs in 24 hours in Las Vegas
A 51-year-old Ohio man has embraced the Valentine’s Day spirit faster than anyone before, giving 7,777 hugs in 24 hours for a new world record.

Jeff Ondash, who sought the squeezes under the costumed alter ego Teddy McHuggin, broke the record Saturday night outside the Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

"When you hug somebody, they all walk away from each other smiling," Ondash said. "They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away; a hug a day — it’s just fun."

Ondash said he wanted to become the world’s hugging champion to raise money for the American Heart Association during American Heart month.

The cause is important to him because his brother and father both died relatively young because of heart problems, he said.

His daughter Carlie, who tallied her father’s hugs with a manual counter at the start of his attempt on Friday, came up with his pseudonym to make his spectacle a bit more fun. As Teddy McHuggin, Ondash sports a red NASCAR-style driver’s suit with hugging logos and a wrestling-style championship belt.

"Jeff Ondash breaking a record really doesn’t mean a lot," he said. "Teddy McHuggin on the other hand, he’s the reigning world speed hugging champion, now going after the world marathon hugging champion.

"No one on earth has ever attempted something like that before," he said.

Ondash, of Canfield, Ohio, already held the record for most hugs in one hour with 1,205, according to Guinness World Records.

The previous record of 5,000 hugs in one day was set last year by Siobhan O’Connor in Dublin, Ireland, Guinness spokesman Philip Robertson said.

To break O’Connor’s mark, Ondash needed more than 208 hugs per hour — or about 3½ hugs per minute. Ondash logged just over 700 hugs during his first hour of embraces on Friday night.

He said he embraced all kinds of people throughout Friday night and Saturday and was tired from being on his feet and not eating. But Ondash said he wasn’t planning to go to sleep right away.

"I’m going to go and enjoy the town tonight," he said Saturday.

Ondash said he did not expect Guinness World Records to certify his record for several weeks. The organization did not have a judge present at his attempt. Instead, independent judges who tracked Ondash in shifts were to submit affidavits to the organization.

Ondash says he, as McHuggin, is now eyeing both the world’s longest single hug — currently 24 hours and 1 second — and breaking his current two records consecutively, which he said was "unheard of."

"I don’t even know if I can do that but I’m going to attempt it," Ondash said. "It’s like climbing Mount Everest twice — same thing."

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3 Responses to Curling…. and More Fun Facts and Photos

  1. Joe says:

    I’ve enjoyed the Olypics this year. Curling…isn’t that tomorrow? My wife is an avid ice skating fan so that will certainly get some time in our house…already has in fact. The hug thing? Hmm, I would think there’s got to be something better you could do with your time but then I guess there’s far worse things right? Have a good evening Bob.

  2. Beth says:

    Another great post Bob! Thank you.

  3. Nancy says:

    Hi Bob!! You love the Olympics I see! My daughter trys those skating poses on my pergo floors with pink fuzzy socks! I see the flooding must be over with! bye Bob!

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