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Features Monday, 18 February, 2002, 20:49 GMT
Curling with Britain's sports minister
BBC Sport's Jonny Saunders and Colm Harrison go curling
Johnny and Colm's skills were put on ice
BBC Sport's Jonny Saunders and Colm Harrison go curling with British sports minister Richard Caborn

It's not often you get the chance to try out a Winter Olympic sport, so when given the opportunity to have a go at the relatively harmless pastime of curling, we were ready and willing.

After all, it doesn't look the hardest of sports, does it?

And when you're playing against the sports minister for the pride of the British media well, we had no choice but to step up to the ice.

The Right Honourable Richard Caborn is undoubtedly a good MP, a loyal Labour servant and member of Her Majesty's government.

But I'm afraid his curling leaves a great deal to be desired.

Not that he was any worse than anyone else playing in our particular match.

Richard Caborn left his suit and tie at home
Richard Caborn left his suit and tie at home
We have been following British fortunes at these Winter Olympics, and Mr Caborn was briefly out here to do the same.

After watching us hopelessly slip and slide about on the sheet, he challenged us to a match. It was an offer we simply couldn't refuse.

And so the unlikeliest of curling matches got underway, with every participant on a curling sheet for the very first time.

It's not worth relaying the details of an appalling match. Suffice to say it finished 0-0 and no-one landed a rock anywhere near the house.

The minister was mildly more proficient than his team-mates but the standard was reassuringly dreadful.

We all released and swept like idiots.

While it was tremendous fun and a marvellous memory, I think we shall be sticking to broadcasting for the time being.

And the minister would be well advised to concentrate on politics from now on.

Listen to Jonny Saunders and Colm Harrison on BBC Radio Five Live as they provide regular news updates from Salt Lake City

Links to more Features stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more Features stories



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