The rules on touching moving stones is different before and after the hogline (the thick red line). Touch it before, and it’s out. Touch it afterward, and the non-offending team gets three choices:

  1. Take the stone out of play and put everything back
  2. Put the stones where they would have been if the stone weren’t touched
  3. Leave it as it is (“decline the penalty,” so to speak)

The delay was due to the teams’ indecision of which side of the hogline the infraction occurred. Italy said it was after; Denmark said before. The group asked Constantini; she said she couldn’t remember when she hit the stone. Denmark vice-skip Mathilde Halse kept saying it mattered when it happened, with the TV analyst doing her best Ron Howard narration to correct her. Dupont, this time, stayed out of it because she said she didn’t see it happen and simply heard the sound. After five minutes of deliberation, Denmark went with the first option and put their yellow rock back in the house. Dupont threw for a second point. Instead of 4-2 Italy, it was a 3-3 game.

Denmark stole another point in the ninth, with Italy tying it up in the 10th and then setting up a really good situation to steal the win in the extra end. But curling isn’t all fun things like sweeping violations and rulebooks. Sometimes you have to suck it up and just make a ridiculous circus shot for the win:


It’s not clear what Dupont yelled, but you can imagine.

In the end it’s a story about the 30-year-old Dupont going back to the Olympics for the second time despite the fact that, as she pointed out in the postgame interview, they lost their national funding this year due to poor results. She and her sister Denise curled at the 2010 Vancouver Games.


While the spirit of curling just barely prevailed in this one, let’s also keep in mind Constantini, just 18 years old, probably wants to find a hole to hide inside for another 18 years as she felt like she burned her teammates’ Olympic hopes, but also didn’t want to say anything when it happened for fear of getting crushed by the moment. From the clips it was obvious they consoled her at the time, and they’re probably not kicking her off the team anytime soon.

Meanwhile, it might be worth investing in technology—like they have with releasing the rock before the first hogline—that definitively calls out a moving stone being touched so everyone’s not forced to mill around until one team reaches a catharsis. The sport is nerve-wracking enough.


Matt Sussman is a sort-of-competitive curler from Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter at @suss2hyphens.