International curling -- the sport that resembles bowls on an ice-rink -- captures the limelight at the Scottish winter sports resort of Aviemore this week.
International curling -- the sport that resembles bowls on an ice-rink -- captures the limelight at the Scottish winter sports resort of Aviemore this week. Contestants this year include "rinks" -- or teams -- from Canada, the United States and several European counties. There are even contestants from the Ivory Coast, who normally compete on an ice rink not far north of the Equator.
Top individual competitors include the Norway's Kunt Bjaanaes, winner of the Scandinavian Senior Trophy for the last two years, and Manfred Reader, who's been West German National Champion for two years running.
Altogether, forth "rinks" from a dozen countries are competing for a place in the final on March 8.
SYNOPSIS: A traditional Scottish bagpipe welcome awaited competitors from a dozen countries at Scotland's winter sports resort, Aviemore, on Sunday, Contestants from Europe, Africa and North America had come to compete in a game long associated with Scotland -- the ancient sport of curling.
For the uninitiated, curling resembles the game of bowls -- on ice. The curling stones are slid down a rink a hundred-and-thirty-eight feet long towards a series of concentric circles. Competing here -- a "rink", or team, from close to the Equator. They're from the Ivory Coast, and they were making their first appearance in the yearly international tournament at Aviemore.
One of seven Candian teams competes against a "rink" from the United States. The desperate sweeping is to ensure that nothing impedes the straight course of the curling stone.
Here, teams from France and Norway start their campaign for a place in the final on March the eighth. Among the Norwegians is Knut Bjannaes, twice winner of the Scandinavian Seniors Trophy.
One of the Norwegian contestants in action. There are a total of forty "rinks" competing for a place in the final.
The basic game doesn't seem to have changed very much since a Flemish painter portrayed a curling match four-hundred years ago. Scotland, competing here against a Swedish "rink", had long enjoyed curling as a local sport, but took to it in a big way last century when a Royal Club was founded to unite curlers throughout the world.
The idea was to form a world-wide Brotherhood of the Rink. It's a tradition that is kept alive by this week's international tournament at Aviemore.