The 1974 World Curling Championships got off to an exciting start at Berne in Switzerland on Monday (18 March).
GV Berne curling stadium
SV Scottish player push off his rock
SV Crowd watch
SV ZOOM out from audience to Waddell of Scotland watches Italian team's rock approaching
SV Italian sweepers help their teams' rock to target
CU ZOOM OUT from Sweden - Germany scoreboard to German competitor pushing off rock
SV PAN German rock pushes Swedish rock out of target area
SV Swedish team sweep in front of their rock
SV Canadians in crowd watch
MCU Swedish rock ends on the centre of target area
SV Crowd applaud
SV PAN as Canadian sweepers help their rock to knock Norwegian rocks out of target area
SV Norwegian sweepers guide their rock into target area
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Background: The 1974 World Curling Championships got off to an exciting start at Berne in Switzerland on Monday (18 March). The favourites, Canada, scored an easy 7-3 victory over Norway.
Switzerland scored 2 narrow 6 to 5 win over France; America beat Denmark 10 to 4 and Sweden beat Germany 4-3.
The surprise result of the first day was Italy's 6-3 win over Scotland. Italy, competing for only the second time in the championships, beat the country that claims to be the home of curling.
Curling began as an open air sport played on the ice of frozen rivers and lakes. Rocks were slid along the ice surface towards a bull's eye or "button", as it is called now.
Today, the sport has gone indoors. The rocks have become 40-pound slabs of high polished granite with handles to push them with.
The present world champions date back to 1959, when the Canadian champion curling team were invited to meet the Scottish champions. Since then, Canadians have won twelve of fifteen world championships.