The truth is that you don't have to overcome long odds to make it to the Winter Games in curling. Or ski jumping. Or bobsledding. With some of these sports, the pool of talent around the world is about a centimeter deep. Get yourself some Under Armour and Sudafed, and soon enough you'll be walking in the parade of nations during the Opening Ceremony.
The Chinese are making their Olympic debut in curling. No one played the sport in the country as of seven years ago. Only 100 people play it now.
China is the reigning women's world champion.
Are you kidding me?
The Chinese decided they wanted to win a medal at curling, selected some former speedskaters they thought might be good at the sport, moved them to Canada, paid them a salary and hired a Canadian to coach them.
''They put a lot of time into the game,'' Chinese coach Daniel Rafael said. ''As long as they retain what they're taught, they should be good enough to win.''
Couldn't happen in basketball
All you need to do is listen to a coach to be a medal contender? That wouldn't seem to reflect well on the depth of the sport, would it? It's hard to picture, say, India paying a group of men to play basketball, hiring Mike Krzyzewski to coach them full-time in the United States and winning an Olympic medal. Even if the players listened hard.