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Loud and proud fans continue to rock curling venue

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Loud curling fans are facing public scrutiny after Denmark skip Madeleine Dupont was brought to tears after Denmark's team fell to Canada  on Sunday. Media outlets are describing Canadian crowds as disruptive and ignorant for their behaviour at recent Olympic matches.

"Such boorish fan behavior is normally considered unacceptable in the genteel world of curling," said a columnist for Yahoo! Sports yesterday.

I made my way down to the Vancouver Olympic Centre - the official curling venue of the 2010 Games - to catch fans coming out of the curling matches this morning. Was there too much noise at the curling rink for Olympic curlers to fairly compete?

The proud Canucks I met this morning called for more cowbell!


Online comments regarding the Denmark skip's struggle to perform focused on the unfair noise directed at opposing teams during matches against Canada. According to fans who attended this morning's games, people from around the world - not just Canadians - are cheering at an unprecedented level at curling matches.

scream.jpgShould the IOC step in and impose etiquette rules on fans at curling matches? It's possible that athletes and organizers would be complaining if no one showed up at all. Personally, I think it's great that the sport, which often receives little attention from the widespread population - is attracting large, excited crowds of fans young and old, curling enthusiasts or not.

I stopped by the Vancouver Curling Club to ask members what they thought about the noise concerns at recent Olympic matches. "If you're really focused on what you're doing, no noise should affect you," said Vancouver Curling Club's Rick McGill regarding Dupont's emotional reaction.

McGill also referred to the PGA Tour's FBR Open in Phoenix, Arizona - the best-attended golf tournament that welcomes large, wild crowds (last year, nearly 72,000 people showed up for the first round of play). "The players accept [the crowds] and play with it," he said.

Whether the sport of curling wants to start amending it's 'code of etiquette' or not, Olympic curlers will have to adjust their playing strategies because excited Canadians fans - as well as those from around the world - are here to stay.

From the files of CBC intern Niamh Scallan