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Tim Arsenault: Pity the fool who isn’t into Olympic curling

Curling - 123RF Stock Photo

Figure skating has always attracted spectators who enjoy a good salchow now and then, preferably set to the music of West Side Story.

And hockey’s long been a favourite of sweater-clad flag-wavers into team sports.

It’s early going, but a strong case can be made that the breakout event at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is — hang onto your brooms — curling.

The sport near and dear to the hearts of many winter-bound Canadians has suddenly hit a bullseye for a bunch of celebrities.

On the verified Twitter account of Mr. T, the professional pity-er of fools, the A-Team and Rocky actor, and hairstyle pioneer has posted several messages about his new infatuation.

“I am really Pumped watching the Winter Olympics. I am watching events I never thought I would watch before, like curling. You heard me, curling Fool!” Mr. T said Saturday.

At this point he would have been tuned in to the mixed doubles competition. It’s a newish event that compresses everything from the size of the teams to the length of the games but somehow manages to expand the opportunities for scoring. It’s fast-paced and seems like a good entry point into the sport for newbies.

It’s not clear if Mr. T knows his sheet from his shot rock, but his passion seems genuine.

Tim Arsenault
Tim Arsenault

“Curling is kind of different, but it’s Exciting. It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes some skills that’s for sure. I like it!” he enthused.

There are also some well-known enthusiasts in the house who have slightly less-nuanced opinions than Mr. T.

Former Downton Abbey heartthrob and live-action Beast Dan Stevens was a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden last week and discovered that he and the CBS host share a passion for the game.

“I’m obsessed with curling,” Stevens said.

Corden concurred. “It’s the best sport in the world,” he said.

Stevens explained that he found curling relatable, especially compared with, say, an event that compelled you to do a backside rodeo flip while strapped to a piece of wood.

“Curling, I sort of feel like you and I might have a shot. It’s fast sweeping and yelling.”

Of course, this was before Mr. T informed the world that there’s got to be a trick to it.

With the mixed doubles final set for Tuesday, how can curling officials capitalize on this sudden star power? Maybe, just for one game, they can rename the tee line the Mr. T line.

I pity them if they don’t because that would be right on the button.

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