Curling May be Gaining Fame in North Texas

Sunday, Feb 16, 2014  |  Updated 11:23 PM CDT
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Hundreds of North Texans are learning: the sport of curling just isn't simple as meets the eye.

Ctherine Ross, Collin County Reporter

Hundreds of North Texans are learning: the sport of curling just isn't simple as meets the eye.

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Hundreds of North Texans are learning: the sport of curling just isn't simple as meets the eye.

"A week ago, I thought - oh that's so easy - it'd be no problem at all," said Kerry Saltino of Dallas, a first time curler." After trying it, I can tell you - it's definitely a sport."

Saltino and friends were some of about 100 new curlers taking the Dallas-Fort Worth Curling Club's "Learn to Curl" classes, offered through March 1st at the Dr Pepper Star Center in Farmers Branch.

Club president John Lambert, only a curler himself for about four years, says his interest was piqued by friends and family, but started up right after the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

"I think the novelty of the Olympics get people out," Lambert said."I think they find out it's a lot more athletic than they anticipated."

The sport involves pushing the "rock, using an athlete's legs to push off from a starting block, known as a "hack."Then, "sweepers," placed in front of the rock, use brooms to sweep ahead of the moving stone, making it move faster toward a target.
 
The new curlers, however, weren't as much focused on aiming as they were staying upright and balanced, as well as gaining a new appreciation for the athletes they've seen on television.

"It is a lot harder than it looks! The people in the Olympics - they make it look easy," Saltino added.

The curling club currently has more than 60 members. However, because of the Olympic publicity, they say they may double that number as early as March, though then it becomes a matter of keeping the new curlers' interest.

They add, though, that Texas curlers may have an advantage to some of the more northern states: year-round accessible, indoor ice.

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