OK, I've had it up to here (my hand is over my head) with all the curling bashing. Seems some arrogant, closed minded Americans (Bryant Gumble, for one) don't think it's a true sport (it's a game, they argue) and that curlers aren't athletes. Using the same criteria, I argue that the following are not sports and the participants not athletes:
NASCAR (or any form of auto racing):
I drive every damn day and I don't think it's the slightest bit sporting. I'm sure that driving cars at that speed is not easy and that it takes a bit of talent and strategy to win. Probably not much more than what I need to get through Atlanta traffic every day, though. And no one can make fun of curlers' supposed lack of athleticism without taking a look at doughy Tony Stewart. That chubby can barely get in and out of a car.
I love golf. I love to watch it and play it; I'd play every day if I could. Still, hitting a little ball with a titanium rod takes no athleticism at all, just a little skill. OK, a lot of skill, but it takes a lot of skill to be a curler, too. Golfers aren't all that athletic, either. Sure they have to do a lot of walking, but they don't even have to carry their own clubs. Us poor golfers do, but not the pros. Before Tiger came along it was all a bunch of pot-bellied white men playing the game, and even with Tiger in the game you can't call golfers real athletes. Seen Phil's belly lately? How about cigarette smoking, alcoholic, wife-beating John Daly? Sure, he's slimmed down, but he's no athlete.
Fun game, but all one really needs to be a good bowler is skill, nice shoes, a good ball, and a strong stomach.
Why is this even on TV? An intelligent person wouldn't even begin to think of poker as a sport, yet, sadly, many Americans do just that.
Skateboarding on snow. Nothing more needs to be said.
Other notable non-sports based on the "curling is not a sport" argument: ping pong, badminton, ski jumping, luge, fly fishing, billiards, diving, shooting, hunting, rodeo, darts, jarts, horseshoes, polo, equestrian, and all the supposed X-games. I reserve the right to add more as they come to mind.
I don't know much about curling. In fact, I only watch it when the Winter Olympics rolls around, so it's safe to say I don't follow the sport. But I do appreciate it for the sport that it is and the talent and skill it takes to play it. I guess that's what separates me from the likes of Bryant Gumble, David Letterman, Frank Deford, Jimmy Kimble, and many others: an ability and willingness to appreciate the finer things. And curling is fine.