Lately, the world of sports has been dominated by politics. Allegations of discrimination are plentiful, and discussions of equality have become essential on many athletic councils and regulation committees. Advocates are raising issues about sexism in professional sports, prompting calls for standard changes and uproar about double standards. The rules and attitude for women in sports are undergoing a revolution – and people are getting heated. Most recently, there has been major controversy around tennis player Naomi Osaka’s win at the 2018 US Open – mostly because Serena Williams lost. Many credited William’s loss to a sexist umpire who penalized the tennis star for smashing her racket. In response, Williams shouted at the umpire, calling him a “thief” and a “liar”, and was docked a game as a result. The incident sparked outrage from many, including Williams, who pointed out alleged double standards in the sport, as similar actions from male tennis players would not have been met with the same retribution.
This is not isolated to tennis. For years, debates have raged on about how women should be treated in any given sport and discussion around the existence of gender-influenced hypocrisy perpetuated by biased referees and ruling committees.
Curling has managed to avoid this.
While a significant part of the game is yelling down an ice rink at your own teammate, there is little aggression in the world of curling. It is the least polarizing high-profile sport, and concerns about gender discrimination were met calmly with the introduction of mixed doubles (one man and one woman per team) in the Olympics. However, that is not to say that the issue is said and done: the Eddy had two experienced student curlers, Hannah Marais and Josh Miki, discuss the climate of gender equality in curling. Marais played on the Riverside girls curling team and helped take the team to provincial championships for two years, while Miki is a third for Team Soto representing the Royal City Curling Club, as well as the skip for the Riverside boys team. For an in-depth and nuanced perspective on the world of curling, listen to the first episode of Eddy Conversations.
Photo credit to seattlefilm.co