by Bill Carroll, KC9CIK
As of this writing, the Olympics are in full swing with a good part of the world watching to
see how their athletes are doing. Norway is in the lead with 26 medals, Germany with
18 medals, Netherlands has 13 medals, Canada with 16 medals, and The United States
has 10 medals. I have had a very hectic week, but I have attempted to watch as much
of the Olympics as I can. My DVR had to be cleared out because there was just too
There have been several sites and sounds of the Olympics that have reminded me of my favorite hobby. I have seen numerous Memes on Facebook, and of course the coverage of three separate television stations on the cable box. Thus far one of my favorite moments was watching a group of individuals try to chase down a lone handheld radio as it slipped and slid down the snowy mountainside of one of the venues.
You were wondering how I was going to get to amateur radio from the
Olympics, weren’t you? It is not hard to think of our radio hobby as you see the
multitude of handheld radios that so many of the Olympic staff are carrying. You also
can see the connection to the television satellite dishes and broadcasting stations that
the networks have set up all over the Olympic location.
But do you see the connection to the sport of curling?
One of the world’s oldest team sports, curling originated in the 16th
century in Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen
ponds and lochs. The earliest-known curling stones came from the
Scottish regions of Stirling and Perth and date from 1511.
While I was watching the very basic sport of curling, I got to thinking about how our basic
hobby of amateur radio correlated to that sport. From the outside looking in, curling is a
basic sport that is played by a team of people. This is very similar, in my mind, to how
the outsiders look at our hobby of amateur radio. People are not too thrilled with our
hobby unless they have a personal interest in it from some other means. The same can
be said for curling. Most of the people that I mention curling to, just blow it off as an odd
Olympic sport that does not mean much. That is until they sit down and watch it. Then
they tend to get sucked into it. Not all, but some. Amateur radio tends to do the same
thing to individuals that sit down to see what it is all about. I invite you out to our next
Field Day to watch this happen. You have someone who has never touched an amateur
radio sit down an make a contact across the country and then you can see the gleam in
We need to, as a community, promote the fun aspects of amateur radio to those
who are younger. This is how we will get the next generation engaged into our hobby.
This may mean, that as an older group, we need to know how and where to get
their attention. Start looking around and you will see how the next generation is getting
interested in the hobby of amateur radio. It maybe in a Mesh network or in radiosport, but it is there. I encourage you to investigate how we can connect with the new ham