Interest in the Centuries Old Sport of Curling Sweeps Across Minnesota

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Interest in the Centuries Old Sport of Curling Sweeps Across Minnesota

All Photos Courtesy of Chaska Curling Center

All Photos Courtesy of Chaska Curling Center

All Photos Courtesy of Chaska Curling Center

Aarya Dev, Staff Writer

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When winter comes around, most people just want to submerge themselves in blankets and binge watch movies, but, for others, sports are the best part of the chilly season. From Hockey to Nordic Skiing, there is for a sport for everyone. Recently, a new sport has emerged that not many individuals would see as popular: curling.

Curling is a sport where players slide large stones across ice and use special brooms to guide them towards a target made up of concentric circles. The brooms help to warm up the ice and reduce friction, which stops the stone from curling and allows it to take a straighter path toward the innermost circle. It can be played with teams of three to four or in mixed doubles.

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When asked about her thoughts on the sport, Molly Welch, ‘22, said “It’s is a well developed athletic activity that needs wider recognition.”

There are 23 Curling Clubs in Minnesota. The Chaska Curling Center is home to over 1,200 curlers, making in the largest in the state. The Curling Center is located in Chaska and first opened in December 2015.

Jeff Isaacson, an employee, is also a curler who competed in both the 2009 World Curling Championship and the 2010 Olympics. He grew up in Iron Range Minnesota and was raised “around the game and both [his] parents curled.”

Curling picked up when it became an official Olympic sport in 1998. It became popular again in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics when it was covered on T.V. , and, every four years, curling clubs are inundated with people wanting to try it. In the 2018 Winter Olympics, a curling team from Minnesota became the first U.S. team to take home gold in curling, which brought even more attention to the strategic sport.

Isaacson says, “curling is a very social sport; the camaraderie is a big part of the game.  It’s a lot like golf —anyone can go out and play it, but it takes a ton of work to get skilled and there are always things to improve on.  It’s a lot more complex than one initially thinks. Curling is often referred to as chess on ice due to the strategy involved. It’s also a game that all ages and abilities can play at a recreational level. We hope more high school students will get into the game.”

Even though curling is still a developing sport, it is something many say they are glad to have tried. With its chess-like strategy and golf-like skill, curling will surely sweep many off their feet.

 

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