My sister, the Curler!

January 24, 2009



Remember awhile back when I begged someone to join the St. Paul Curling Club so that I could come observe?  Well, my sister answered the plea!  Let me tell you, it was no easy task.  Rumor has it that the wait to get in is something like 10 years.  Well, she worked her magic and started stopping by every day, getting to know each of the managers.  Despite the fact that they insisted there were no slots, she persisted!  Lo and behold, a few weeks later, 1 slot opened and who did they call to offer it to – my tenacious sister!  It pays to stay top of mind….

Emily is proving to be quite the natural.  The game requires relatively little equipment- just the broom and a foot slider (check out her signature pink ones in the top photo).  She has taken some lessens as well, but a lot of it is just learned with practice over time.  For those unfamiliar with curling, the general purpose is to send the 44 pound stone down the ice and get it to land closer to the center than your opponents.  Similar to bocce ball, if you have multiple stones closer than the opponent, you score multiple points.  The Skip identifies where to target each of the 8 shots and play rotates back and forth.  What makes the stone slide are little water droplets on top of the ice.  After each game the ice is “pebbled” meaning that they take a tiny sprinkler and walk over the ice covering it with fresh droplets.  Then they use a scraper that runs over the ice to cut off the top of the droplet.  The stone rides on the top of these droplets, which is what allows it to curl.  Cool, huh?

The pictures above show Emily in the Winter Carnival Bonspiel, a weekend curling tournament.  She usually plays in the Sunday Night Novice league, so this is a big deal.  The theme for the Bonspiel was circus, so you’ll notice that she and her teammates are all decked out.  Curling is one part sport and one part social activity, so there are equal amounts of time devoted to the ice and the bar afterwards.  This is one sport I may actually consider in my future…

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