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Is the curling still on…?

19 February 2014

4:50 PM

19 February 2014

4:50 PM

The Winter Olympics have been going on for over a week now, and we’ve been treated to a good ten hours of winter sports per day by the BBC. But they have a very odd way of choosing what we’re allowed to watch; mainly, it seems, curling and skating.

Brits have every reason to be proud of their curling teams, and of course they want to follow their progress. But why are there no other choices on offer? When Wimbledon’s on, we often have eight different courts to choose from via the ‘red button’, and for London 2012 the situation was the same. Hurrah, sports galore! No such luck in Sochi.

Great Britain doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to the Winter Olympics, and no wonder. We may well complain about ‘arctic temperatures’ every year, but the reality is that we rarely see enough snow to ski on, or ice to skate on. But despite our weather not helping our cause, we still have fantastic indoor facilities and dry-slopes. What we lack is information and televised coverage of the range of sports on offer. It’s somewhat irritating to know that there are biathlon or Super-G events going on, but our aspiring athletes can’t watch them. The BBC can’t be blamed for Britain’s disappointing medal count – but if the full range of sports aren’t available, then no wonder people don’t get involved.

To be fair to the BBC they’ve done a very good job of commentating on the disciplines that they do show (even if they did cut off snowboarder Billy Morgan for saying ‘huck it’. No, not f*** it. HUCK it). But I wish they could do a little bit more – of everything. The Norwegians managed to break their own TV records on the opening weekend of the games, with 89.5% of viewers watching the cross-country.

#lovecurling has been trending on Twitter for the last couple of days, which is all well and good. But maybe if we paid attention to all of the Olympic sports – and therefore encouraged more competitors ­– we could have #lovewinterolympics trending in time for PyeongChang.

Camilla Swift is half-Norwegian, perhaps more so during the Winter Olympics. Impartiality is not guaranteed.

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