I read today that a curling club is getting started up in Hawaii. As someone who has only ever tried curling in Florida, I give this development a hearty two thumbs up! It also put me in a sweeping mood, so the time is ripe to honor the only curler on my list.
I don't know if I could name a single other Swedish athlete besides Anette. And as much as I call myself a curling fan, the only time I watch is during the Olympics... and I know the names of maybe two American curlers. So the fact that I even know who she is says something right there. The only reason I do know who she is is because she's absolutely unbelievable.
She's won seven European Championships (1988, 2001-2005, 2007), three World Championships (2005, 2006, 2011) and two Olympic gold medals (2006, 2010), plus twelve other silver and bronze medals from those competitions. She's the first skip in the history of curling to defend her Olympic title. After the 2010 Olympics, her entire team retired, so she put together an entirely new (young) team that promptly went on to win the world championship in its first season. 'Cause LOL that's what all brand new teams do, right? Anette is far and away one of the most successful curlers of all time; she and two of her teammates are the only Olympic curlers to have more than one gold medal, and (from what I could gather, at least) there are very few curlers that have as many world titles as she does. And seriously, some of the shots she makes... there are no words.
Let's talk about what happened when I tried curling, shall we? For one, everybody in the group had trouble walking on ice, let alone sliding along with any kind of coordination. Most of the group couldn't throw the stone far enough for it to be in play, let alone have any aim or control where it went. When we attempted to sweep, most of the group couldn't keep up with the stones. And in trying to throw stones, I fell on my right knee so many times that it was bruised for a month and a half afterwards. It was disgusting (and incredibly painful).
Curling might look a little bit ridiculous, but it's unbelievably difficult. Add in all the strategy involved, and I don't know how anyone could possibly be as good at it as Anette is.
And any athlete that's mourned when she retires is worthy of a hell of a lot of admiration.