Shot rock. Skip. Tee line. The hammer. If these terms are familiar and you’ve just figured out what it means to throw a guard, peel, and draw to the button, welcome to my quadrennial obsession: Olympic curling. Despite the fact that I’ve never stepped foot on a sheet, thrown a stone and certainly never swept with the kind of vigor you see in curling, I can’t get enough of this sport when it appears on my TV every four years.
Modern curling, with its precisely measured indoor ice sheets, timing clocks, and even sensors inside the stones to track them, is a far cry from rink conditions of a century ago. Enjoy a slide down memory lane through these photographs of outdoor curling in Central Park in New York City and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York.
And don’t miss the animated sweeping taking place on Jamaica Pond in Boston, Massachusetts (right). I can almost hear the the skip yelling to sweep harder! The Olympic medals for curling will be handed out in the next few days, so enjoy the the game sometimes referred to as “chess on ice” while you can. Four years is a long time to wait!
[Correction: An earlier version of this post referred to Van Cortlandt Park as being in Brooklyn, but it is in fact in the Bronx.]
- Explore additional images of curling in the Bain News Service Collection.
- Frozen ponds and sheets of ice are used far more commonly for ice skating than curling. Enjoy these images of ice skating from throughout the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
- Another popular winter sport featured both in the Olympic games and in the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections is skiing. View photographs, posters and prints related to skiing.
- Read posts from other Library of Congress blogs about the Winter Olympics:
- The Signal from Digital Preservation: Capturing and Preserving the Olympic Spirit via Web Archiving
- In Custodia Legis from the Law Library: Regulating the Winter Olympics in Russia
- Teaching with the Library of Congress from Educational Outreach: Bringing Olympic Games into your Classroom with Primary Sources
- From the Catbird Seat (Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress): Olympic Promotional Ads Inspire through Poetry
- Inside Adams from Science, Technology & Business: King of Winter Sports
I ice skated on the lake in Van Cortland Park in the Bronx. I never heard of a Van Cortland Park in Brooklyn. Thank you for this interesting article on Curling.
Thank you for catching my error! Van Cortlandt Park is in fact in The Bronx, as you point out. I’m glad you enjoyed the post – and hope you enjoyed the ice skating, too!
So glad you are enamored of curling and posted these historic photos. You can try curling at the Potomac Curling Club at the National Capital Curling Center (in Laurel, MD) at their March 22 Learn to Curl sessions. If you are ever in Paoli, PA, please come visit the Philadelphia Curling Club.
Lisa from Narberth, PA
Thank you for both the kind offer and the information about my local curling options. I’ve heard about the Laurel, MD facility but have never visited. I’m tempted to give it a try!