Curling gaining fame with Olympics
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — It’s addictive to watch. There’s the throw and the sweeping, the drama and, of course, the yelling.
That’s right — curling.
You may watch it on TV for 10 minutes and think you can do better than any of the other athletes out there on the ice. We decided to give it a shot to see just how difficult it is.
Curling stones are 42 pounds — yes, that heavy — and made on an island in Scotland. A new one will set you back about $450.
We’re outside of our NBC compound to learn a little more, enlisting the help of Mike Headrick and photographer Tanner Siegworth.
This is exactly how every professional curler gets their start — in the back parking lot of a television compound, surrounded by satellite trucks, cabling and foldable ice.
Out in Olympic Park, it’s the hot ticket and now a topic of conversation.
“When we decided we were coming here, we said curling was the main event we had to go to,” one fan tells us.
We ask around, seeing if there may be any future Olympians in the crowd.
A fan makes a guess as to how long it would take him to become an elite curler.
“Six months, maybe a year full time. One year full time and I’m ready for Beijing 20…what is that, 2022?”
We find a group of Canadians who’ve tried the sport but don’t have high hopes of making it onto Olympic ice.
“We have curled. I don’t know if we would be called curlers.”
They figured Team Canada would be playing for the gold, but that’s not the case — thanks to the USA.
“We actually have the tickets for them, but I guess now we’re going to watch the U.S.”
We also found the answer to an age-old question: What happens when you cross paths with a Cubs fan from Chicago in pajamas, an Australian in a kangaroo outfit and me?
A little outdoor curling, of course.
We took home the gold in our creative version of street curling. But we’ll leave it up to the pros to represent Team USA for real.
Curling is easy to try, tough to be good at and even harder to win Olympic gold.
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