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Refugees in Canada are embracing the country’s silliest sport

Olympic aspirations. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
By Selina Cheng
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Few outside of Canada truly love curling. Whether or not the winter game, which involves sliding granite rocks across ice, even deserves to be called a sport regularly comes up for debate in the US, during the Winter Olympics. But a small group of refugees in Canada who recently discovered the slippery game seem to have embraced it with open arms.

A Canadian non-governmental organization, Together Project, recently organized a curling session for refugees at Toronto’s Royal Canadian Curling Club, to help them learn about Canada. The Canadian men’s curling team has won gold through the past three Winter Olympics. A small group of refugees from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Kurdistan, including some who’d only arrived days earlier, were invited to spend a day at the stadium to learn the sport.

Yazidi refugees from Kurdistan laugh on the ice as they learn the sport of curling in Toronto (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

One child was initially skeptical that curling was even a sport. ”It looked like not that fun. I was like, ‘Why is it taking such a long time?’ It felt like hockey is better,” Arun, an 11-year-old boy from Sri Lanka, told Reuters. But he came around: “But when I came and really did it, I felt like, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t say that’.”

A refugee from Afghanistan smiles. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
A refugee from Afghanistan looks out as she watches her family learn to curl. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
A Yazidi refugee from Kurdistan. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)
(Reuters/Mark Blinch)
(Reuters/Mark Blinch)
A father and daughter from Syria. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

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