Introducing “Run It Back”: Rocks Across the Pond’s Look at Curling’s Olympic Era



We are launching a new feature on Rocks Across the Pond that we’re going to call “Run It Back”. This series looks at how curling has changed over the last quarter century. We’re starting in 1997 when the game was still largely amateur, Canada dominated the world stage and sweepers did not know how to carve a stone. 

Each episode will focus on a single game. We’ll look at how things like strategy, sweeping, shot making, ice conditions, and even advertising has changed over the years. Each month from now until the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing we’ll drop an episode looking at a different game.

For our first episode, we are going to look at Jonathan’s all-time favorite curling game: the 1997 Brier final between Team Martin and Team Peters. Coming into the game both Peters and Martin had each won a Brier. The three-rock free guard zone was relatively new. The game features a sellout crowd at the Calgary Saddledome (the largest live audience to ever see a curling game). The game did not disappoint. It featured several big ends, great shots and heartbreaking misses. 

Kevin Plamer joined us to help analyze the game. Kevin is curling’s leading historian. He writes the “Curl With Math” blog, which uses analytics to analyze curling strategy. He published the book “10 Ends”, a statistical approach to watching curling. He also hosts “The Curling Legends Podcast” which interviews curling greats from the invention of the slide through to the modern era.

If you want to watch the game before listening to the episode you can view it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOjJXrHGMew

If you have suggestions for future episodes feel free to drop us a line at: rocksacrossthepond@gmail.com


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