Russians have given the world a lot: great works of literature, fantastic ballet, glorious opera, um, vodka. It would not be a surprise to learn that that latter item played a role in Russia’s latest present to humanity — car curling.
Gone are the brooms and 40-pound granite stones. This game is played with Soviet-era cars known as Okas, the UPI reports. (Okas can weigh more than 1,500 pounds.)
The idea of the game is simple. Like in Olympic curling, the idea is to get your stone, or in this case car, closer to the center of the target than your opponents’. Those with the most points win.
While the rules of the game may be similar to standard curling, the technique is wholly different. One person sits in the driver’s seat to steer, or curl, the vehicle, while the rest of the team pushes the car down the ice. Seeing the beauty of this bizarre sport come to life, it makes one wonder, what the heck took us so long to come up with it?
Perhaps we didn’t have the right inspiration.
But auto insurance agent Galina Kirkach did. Living in the Ural mountains at the border of Sibera, Kirkach told Russian state-run news agency Tass she invented the game after witnessing a lot of icy crashes.
“We constantly see accidents on the road,” the businesswoman said, “and we thought that this would attract people’s attention to the need for insurance.”
Kirkach ended up organizing an exhibition tournament last weekend, in which four 10-member teams participated. After a day of pushing, steering and inevitably crashing into a bunch of cars, one team claimed the 100,000 rubles (around $1,800) prize.
“Curling looked boring on TV, but I played it once with friends and realized what a great sport it was,” Kirkach told Tass.
With cars, it’s now even better.