I’ve only had time to watch about two hours of Olympics coverage so far: UK vs. S. Korea women’s curling, and US vs. S. Korea women’s curling. In watching parts of just these two matches, it seemed obvious to me that the US women’s curling team sucks at curling. I was super impressed by the precision and strategy present in the UK/Korea match. I was literally laughing out loud at the blind-monkey outcomes of the US team’s throws. I later confirmed my read by finding lots of online discussions about how bad the US is at curling.
My question is this: Is amateur curling a disaster? Or, is the US team just a weird case where no one good bothered to show up? If the US team really is made up of the best players (or team?) in the US, then I have to imagine that amateur curling is just a string of random flying stones (and beer).
Take bowling as a counter-example. An amateur that’s bowled a reasonable amount can get plenty of strikes and rarely throws a gutter ball. But imagine if the alley were, like, 1000 feet long and only the best-of-the-best could actually do anything strategic. It would become a specialty sport, where you need to train long and hard to even be able to employ basic skills and strategy.
So, is amateur curling like that?