In the 1970s, when most people thought about curling they thought it was just a game, something that could never be a real sport. Warren Hansen, a top curler in the seventies, felt curling wasn’t viewed fairly by the sports world. That needed to change.
Hansen joined forces with Ray Kingsmith in the late 1970s to change this, setting out to get curling into the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary as a demonstration sport. They succeeded, but then it seemed like curling would never go beyond that demonstration.
Three times curling applied to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Olympic medal status. And three times, the IOC turned them down. Finally in June of 1992, at the IOC General Assembly in Barcelona, Spain, curling received the blessing of the executive committee as a full medal sport.
Sticks ‘n’ Stones reveals what it took for curling to gain full medal sport status, from sheer determination to navigating the murky waters of politics of amateur, international and Olympic sport.