Winter Olympics always boost interest in Austin’s curling club

The Lone Star Curling Club offers classes in Austin. (KXAN Photo: Frank Martinez)
The Lone Star Curling Club offers classes in Austin. (KXAN Photo: Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — While it’s warming up outside, things were chilly inside as a local curling club took to the ice in north Austin Sunday.

Pat Popovich of the Lone Star Curling Club offered players encouragement on the ice at a mini curling session.

“So here comes the rock. He doesn’t want them to sweep because it’s going in a good speed,” she said as a team made its way down the ice. “May hit the red rock in front and push it in. OK, now … let it die, let it die, let it die, let it die. Oh, wow, they did it! They did it!”

Some members of the club, like Guy Davis, curl competitively. He gives all the credit to his mom. “She picked it up randomly one night, hurt her ankle, asked if I could sub,” said Davis. “I subbed and I was hooked ever since.”

The goal is for players to work as a team sliding 42-pound granite stones toward a target area. Sweepers use brooms to influence the path. For Popovich, the attraction to the sport started 12 years ago while watching the Olympics.

“That’s what gets everyone out here and they realize how much fun it is,” Popovich said.

Knowing how to skate is not a requirement — tennis shoes work just fine.

“It’s just a fun, fun sport and it’s weird,” Popovich said.

That’s all Austin needs to know to get on board. During the month of January, the curling club is holding mini sessions on Sundays at Chaparral Ice. Starting in February they’ll be offering “Learn to Curl” classes, which will coincide perfectly with the Olympics.

 

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