Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.
The citizens of 100 Mile House have invented the ultimate curling contest, which combines the thrills of curling with the unpredictability of cross-country skiing. The cross-country curling course is fifty kilometers in length and contains eighty sharp bends; the curlers must take as few shots as possible to complete the course successfully. Accuracy over distances of 500 – 1250 metres is paramount, as all eighty bends have run-offs behind them, to ensure that stones with too much weight are severely penalized. Sweepers for this event are speed-skaters with brooms.
The event was started in 1954 by the town council because they believed that the citizens of 100 Mile House spent too much time puzzling over exactly where they were 100 miles from. The event takes place on February 1st in the countryside around the town and draws teams from all over northern BC. The course is laid out during January and is given a final polish by the local Zamboni owner on January 31st.
Each team comprises four people and they each take turns at moving their rock along the course. Teams curl off at intervals of five minutes and no overtaking is allowed unless a team loses their rock in a snow bank. Teams have twenty seconds to make their next shot otherwise they are penalized by the timer assigned to their team. The rocks used are the standard curling stones though the method of delivery is vastly different to the indoor version of curling. At each bend there is a target area that the rock must stop in before the team can continue along the next straight section of the course.
The record for the fewest shots to complete the entire 50K course is 257 by the Vanderhoof Vandals team in 1967, who finished 38 shots ahead of the field – another record. This team comprised the four Van Der Voort brothers, who didn’t play curling that regularly but were avid gym-goers, golfers, and cross-country skiers. As a fellow competitor said “The Vandals were a lot of hurling and not much curling, but they never gave up.”