LOCATION: Richmond, Virginia
Yup, you read that right…I learned the sport of Curling. The whole idea originated around the fact that it looks super ridiculous in the Olympics and if I was to ever make a team for the Olympics, it would be in this sport since it looked so easy. In reality, I could never be more wrong!
Curling is a sport in which four players on a team attempt to slide a stone across the ice into a ring and knock other stones out of the way, much like shuffleboard is done. Considering Curling is done on ice, I always assumed it originated somewhere really cold, but alas it was invented in Scotland during their winter season. It eventually made its way over to Canada and places around the U.S. The sport is played on an ice rink that has been “pebbled” by warm water refreezing to create a rough surface.
The person called the skip stands at the other end of the rink and lets the other players know which direction the stone needs to go. The lead will slide the stone out on to the ice and give a slight curl to it so it goes in the skip’s directions.
Once thrown, the players known as the second and third will then sweep in front of the stone to clear the ice as well as to decrease friction under the stone.
Let me just say, it was definitely not easy one bit. To throw the stone (and it weighs 42 pounds) you have to glide forward in a lunge position and throw the stone with enough force to get it across the ice. Sliding was easy since you wear a sliding shoe, but also made it hard to keep your balance.
The hardest part was the sweeping. You had to keep up with the stone and sweep really fast to reduce the friction needed. Running on ice to keep up with the stone was definitely a task. My partner ended up falling twice in the process.
Needless to say, I kept going with the stone while he was on the ground. It was semi funny. Okay, it was really funny. A few times the stone went right past me since it went so fast.
The lesson was only 2 hours, but gave a great basic lesson into the world of Curling. I think if I lived closer to the classes, I might actually give it a try to learn more. Who knows, maybe one day I would be the next Olympic Curling champion. One thing I do know is that I’ll never underestimate their ability in the Olympics ever again. That brooming job is no joke!
* Thanks Mom for accompanying me on this awesome adventure and being my photographer.
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN? Yes!!! It’s a lot of fun!
HOW TO DO THIS: Curling Club of Virginia. Curling lessons $30 for 2 hours. http://curlingva.org/