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Tales of a Curling Hack

by Doug Maxwell

Humility is a big part of curling’s successful formula. At a time when many professional athletes aggravate fans with their arrogant attitudes, curlers come across as the kind of folks you might run into at your neighbourhood Tim Hortons.

Doug Maxwell is a case in point. Although he’s spent more than half a century in the game as a top-level organizer, broadcaster, journalist, author, and Olympic official, he remains modest. By his own admission he is not a stylish writer, but his passion for, and knowledge of, curling make up for any shortcomings in literary finesse.

Tales of a Curling Hack is a companion to Maxwell’s 2002 book Canada Curls: The Illustrated History of Curling in Canada. His latest effort is a more personal look at the sport, as he recounts insider stories and tidbits about the major stars, events, and controversies of curling’s modern era. Among his best yarns is an account of how curling came to be an Olympic sport. (He says there are two things you should know about the Olympics – that nothing is as it seems, and that the Games are 75% political and 25% athletic.)

Maxwell’s love for the game is such that he once stripped to the waist and slid on his belly across the ice just to get a curling picture on the front page of a newspaper. It is this sort of gung-ho devotion that makes him an endearing chronicler and makes this a book that should please similarly enthusiastic curling fans.