For the record, I do in fact, have a minor in Canadian Studies.
I usually get odd looks from people when I reveal this little-known fact. I attended college at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, 16 miles from the Canada-U.S. border. What else was I going to study?
It hardly ever seems relevant, but when Lindsey Ward and I showed up in Richmond to attempt curling – which is popular in Canada – I felt an immediate connection. Ok – that's a stretch – but it felt like an advantage to have some sort of connection with Canada.
Curling itself is harder and more fun that I thought it would be. The curlers slide that 40-plus pound rock nearly the entire length of a hockey rink. The sweepers now have expensive brooms with carbon fiber handles and the footwear is specialized with one "slippy" shoe and one "grippy" shoe.
Experienced curlers can actually make the stones curve or "curl" as they try to get theirs to land closest to the middle of a series of circles called the "house." That ability to curve is where the name comes from. And that part where you push off from the starting blocks called a "hack?" That's not easy.
The Richmond Curling Club is the only one in Virginia. This sport is not a big deal here – but there must be something to it. A painting on display at the rink was reportedly created in 1565 and sure enough, there on the ponds of Europe – people were curling.
If you want to learn more, check out the Club's Facebook Page or Website.
WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
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