I ran into my former Reuters colleague, Rachel, a few weeks ago at a conference here in town. She was off to Torino in a few days, she told me, to cover the Olympics. Her beat? General news. And then, in an unmistakable grumble, curling. I couldn't contain my laughter. The Brits, holding the women's curling gold from Salt Lake, have this one rare Winter Olympic event to follow. How do you say national Olympic pride in a wealthy nation of 60 million? In the UK, the answer is curling! And Reuters intends to cover every broom sweep.
But this year, the Italians are kings of curling. Rachel is covering the biggest Italian sporting story of the year at the moment. 23 percent of Italy tuned into Wednesday's men's curling match, a startling development to some media watchers here. But not to me. This sport is a sort of bocce-on-ice. Italians should be the world champions at this event, not the Brits!