cool runnings 2.0? jamaica steps foot into global curling

us of a becomes third caribbean country to enroll in global federation

from left to right, jamaica’s ben kong, stephanie chen and cristiene corridor-teravainen pose for a photo for the duration of a crew curling exercise in april. the jamaican curlers are sliding into the footsteps of the bobsledders that added the tropical island nation to the wintry weather olympics and became an worldwide sensation.

slide over, jamaican bobsledders. a collection of expats from the ice-loose island are hoping to carry a whole new winter game to their tropical place of origin: curling.

3 a long time after jamaica crashed the iciness olympics — after which crashed on the wintry weather olympics — with the bobsleigh crew made well-known in the movie “cool runnings,” the usa has joined the sector curling federation. the repute allows it to compete in worldwide events, and the brand new countrywide governing frame is hoping that formal reputation will help the sport smash via in a place better known for sprinters, reggae and rum.

“the bobsled team broke the ice — pardon the pun,” curling jamaica president ben kong stated in a latest interview with the associated press. “now there’s form of an reputation that jamaicans can compete in any recreation, although it’s miles a winter recreation.”

born on scottish lochs and most popular amongst scandinavians, scots and canadians, curling is using a put up-olympic improve from television viewers who quadrennially fall in love with the quirky game with the sweeping and shouting and chess-like method. lately, that’s introduced the game to a few new — and non-white — international locations.

because the pyeongchang video games in 2018, the wcf has recognized federations in the dominican republic, kenya, bolivia, turkmenistan, india and kuwait. jamaica is the primary to join since the beijing olympics, earning conditional fame closing month as the 1/3 member from the caribbean.

wcf president kate caithness known as it “an interesting milestone for the sport as we continue to increase our members in nontraditional curling countries.”

curling jamaica technical director cristiene corridor-teravainen, who moved to toronto when she was 6, stated that once taking over curling in canada she noticed exactly an extra person of colour in competitions: a russian.

“now with these other countries — with the wcf, i assume they’re doing an exquisite process of being inclusive, and promoting the game round the sector,” she said. “africa, india — in which there may be minorities playing the game and loving it — i suppose it’s going to construct and build and construct. i see big matters in the future.”

kong, forty six, moved to canada as a infant but didn’t begin curling till approximately a decade ago. “then got here the crazy dream approximately ‘why don’t we put a jamaican curling group together?”‘ he said.

loopy, besides for one issue: the caribbean island where ice normally is going in liquids sent a bobsleigh group to the olympics in 1988, a fish-out-of-water tale chronicled within the 1993 disney movie “cool runnings.”

it become the us of a’s iciness video games debut, and jamaicans have competed at each olympics seeing that except for turin, in 2006. in beijing, benjamin alexander competed in the massive slalom — some other first.

‘they paved the way’
one day, maybe curling, too.

“they paved the manner for jamaica. it turned into large what the bobsled team did,” corridor-teravainen said. “i don’t suppose we are driving their coattails, however we are marching proper at the back of them.”

in all, kong has found 9 girls and five guys, 12 of them residing in canada and two in the united states of america. maximum are twin citizens.

three of the ladies have competitive revel in; corridor-teravainen is the most accomplished of them, having once competed in canada’s senior provincial championships. she figures to be the anchor of a jamaican group that is hoping to compete within the international combined championships in aberdeen, scotland, in october.

of the five men, simplest one has performed competitively. “our guys’s team, at the same time as we’ve got enough warm our bodies, that team wishes some developing,” kong said.

curling jamaica secretary standard andrew walker, a leisure roller who as soon as received the monday night time residence league at his domestic membership, said locating different jamaican curlers became “a lightbulb moment” for him.

now he sees a spark in different jamaicans’ eyes after they watch him curl.

“a young woman came as much as me and said, `you know, i wasn’t going to come back but then i noticed you and i concept, ‘good day, i’m able to do this, too,'” he stated. “it gives human beings the permission to go out and supply it a attempt. they can see someone like themselves.

“as it was never there of their old united states, they don’t seek it out. they’ll are trying to find out soccer and cricket and what have you, but curling isn’t on the radar,” he stated. “so this can with a bit of luck put it extra on the radar.”
and he hopes wcf reputation will help get the word out.

“there are jamaicans in each country on the earth. i’m pretty certain available in the jamaican diaspora are curlers like myself — and higher than myself,” walker stated. “this is step one to allow them to recognize that we’re out right here, and we want to pay attention from you.”

based simply outside of toronto
for now, the dozen canada-based jamaicans have installation a domestic base at the unionville curling membership outside of toronto that, at more than 100 years vintage, is twice as vintage as the unbiased nation of jamaica.

their debut competition become a pleasant coed scrimmage in opposition to hong kong in april that became confined to 3-character teams due to pandemic protocols; hong kong became leading 10-4 after 4 ends while the perimeters decided that preserving rating wasn’t the factor.

corridor-teravainen stated that it is now not unusual for even nicely-hooked up curling applications to educate overseas, where coaches and ice sheets and ample and the competition is strong.

“even countries that have ice come here to teach,” she said. “jamaica has a hockey group that plays out of florida.”

kong stated the aim is to build a software wherein the curling is played “in jamaica, by means of jamaicans.”

and if disney comes calling with a movie deal?

“i am nonetheless considering what actor i want to play me,” he said.

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