Canada may have swept the gold medals at Sochi for Curling, but it was all about Team U.S.A. when I visited the Philadelphia Curling Club this week to try my hand at the non-traditional sport. But as I discovered, it’s actually more traditional than one might expect, dating back to medieval Scotland. “The roaring game,” as it was called, references the sound the stones make when traveling over the playing surface. If you know nothing about the sport, think of shuffleboard – players slide projectiles towards a goal area where they’re susceptible to being bumped. The chief difference is the addition of ‘curling brooms’ which players use to sweep the ice in front of the stone which propels it further by reducing friction.
I tried my hand at throwing the stone and it was no picnic! Neither, as I learned, was sweeping! I have a lot of practice ahead of me before I go out for the 2018 Olympic team!