For generations, the stones utilized in Olympic curling occasions have been solid from granite mined from a quarry on an uninhabited volcanic island off the Scottish coast, using the identical timeworn strategies handy form discs that glide throughout the ice on this planet’s most elite competitions.
Properly, Olympic officers stated on Monday, the stones have been having digital issues.
The plain query: How is that even doable?
Technological advances have reworked the Video games, creating a variety of instruments which have empowered athletes to enhance their performances and spectators to extra simply watch and perceive the occasions. However a hunk of granite — nevertheless artfully sculpted — might need gave the impression to be a extra analog factor of the Olympics.
In recent times, digital developments have been launched to curling, just like the units embedded within the deal with of the stones, the usage of magnets positioned under the ice and sensors within the stone to inform if a participant has let go when the foundations require them to. The units have been visible to players and spectators in the little green lights on the stones. (These lights flip crimson if the roller hasn’t launched in time.)
In an announcement on Monday, Olympics officers stated that they have been suspending the usage of these digital displays, citing unspecified technical points. “The handles at the moment in use will stay in place on the stones,” the assertion stated, including that “guide hog line judging might be in impact.”
Hog line refers back to the border painted on the ice marking where sweeping can begin; the roller should launch the stone earlier than crossing that line. Failing to let go means the stone is taken out of play.
A lot of curling remains tradition-bound, the stones particularly — all with roots on Ailsa Craig, the uninhabited island within the Firth of Clyde, off the west coast of Scotland. However expertise has its place, too: within the elaborate and extremely detailed means of making ready the ice for play, in addition to in the brooms. However such developments have been met with skepticism and resistance by many within the sport.