On Wednesday, October 28th, North York Central Library hosted an eh List program featuring world curling champion and CBC television personality Colleen Jones. Colleen read from her new biography: Throwing Rocks at Houses: My Life In and Out of Curling. This book is also available electronically.
During her illustrious career, Colleen won two world championships and six Tournament of Hearts Canadian Women's Championships. In 1989 the native Haligonian was inducted into the Curling Canada Hall of Fame.
Colleen is also well known as a weather and sports reporter for CBC. She has been with the CBC for 27 years.
However, Colleen's careers, and life, were threatened in December of 2010 when she contracted bacterial meningitis, a disease that can cause swelling around the brain. Hearing loss, brain damage, and even death, can occur. Luckily for Colleen, she survived.
For Colleen, the day she became sick was a life-changing event. As she read from her book:
"In that moment, on that one day in my life, I had this amazing epiphany that life is precious and it can be over in a second. And I realized the importance of taking advantage of simple things in life, like walking the dog or enjoying a cup of coffee.
Curling taught me about competition and nurtured in me a desire to win, but my brush with a disease that had the potential to kill helped me to keep perspective. It might be my greatest victory of all."
A lot of people may have heard of curling but know very little about it. Bill Weeks, author of the book Curling for Dummies, does a nice job of summing it up.
He writes that "In its simplest form, curling is a game where two teams of four players each slide 40-pound granite rocks (also called stones) down a sheet of ice toward a target at the other end. Each team tries to get more of its stones close to the centre of the target than the other team."
Of course, like any other sport, it's not as easy as it sounds! The technical aspects of curling can fill many books.
Curling is believed to have originated in Scotland, around the sixteenth century, although this has been contested.
Soldiers of the 78th Highlanders brought curling to Canada in 1759. It took hold in Quebec and, with some growing pains, slowly spread to the rest of Canada. The first club in Toronto was established in 1837.
The name of the sport probably comes from the old Scottish word curr, which refers to the roaring sound of the rocks as they travel over the ice. It is this same sound that is behind the game's moniker: The Roaring Game.
Interested in learning more about curling? Check out some of these books, available in the Toronto Public Library system:
|Curling, etcetera||The Roaring Game|