WILKES-BARRE — The Winter Olympics are over but the sport of curling is still managing to get attention here at home. An upcoming event in Wilkes-Barre could give you a chance to try it out.
For these athletes on the ice, this is one cool sport that’s stone cold.
It’s curling and it has had ties to our area for more than 100 years.
“There was a curling club here in Wilkes-Barre in the 1880s. They used the frozen Susquehanna,” said Erica Swith of Anthracite Curling Club.
“Curling started in Scotland as a winter social activity in the 1500s. Basically, what they did, was throw rocks down frozen rivers,” explained Erica Snarski with Anthracite Curling Club.
But now those once-regular old rocks are special 42 pound smooth stones which you sweep down the ice with a special broom.
At the Toyota Sportsplex in Wilkes-Barre, the Anthracite Curling Club gave us a glance at how a game is played.
“There’s four people on a team. Scoring is however many stones you have closer to the button than your opponent’s closest stone,” said Mark Dorval of the Anthracite Curling Club, explaining that it’s similar to horseshoes.
According to a lot of the players, it was during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah that curling became popular.
“There was a problem with the cameras shooting skiing so the only live event during that time was curling so they cut to that and everyone was like ‘wow, what’s this?’” said Dave Cawley of Anthracite Curling Club.
Although this year’s winter Olympics are over, the curling craze is still hot here at home.
You can try it out for yourself this Saturday and next for $10 at the Toyota Sportsplex along Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre. It will run from 3 until 7 p.m. Click here for more information.
“You’ll learn about the sport. You’ll learn how to throw a few stones, sweep a few rocks, meet a few members of the club,” said Joshua Sophy with Anthracite Curling Club.
“Any age, any ability, old, young, you can come out. You can do it. Arthritis, no arthritis, we can show anybody how to curl, easy,” added Russ Keeler.