The Seven Things You Learn From Every Curling Story

Nothing says Winter Olympics like a "clueless reporter tries curling" story. (Except maybe the "here's a black Winter Olympian!" story.) We take you through a typical curling experience, as seen through the eyes of every reporter ever.

Isn't Curling Wacky?

"Like most U.S. citizens, I was born thinking curling is a joke, just another goofy Canadian quirk." Zachary Lewis, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"I'm sitting on my behind. On a block of ice. Trying to figure out again what the allure of curling is all about." - Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News

"Most folks know it as the sport where people slide around, push rocks, sweep a lot and holler at each other." - Danny Bernardini, The Reporter

"You know curling, right? It's that sport where broom-wielding athletes madly sweep the ice in front of a slowly sliding lump of polished granite. Riveting." - James A. Fussell, KC Star

"Uh, oh, what kind of stupid questions does this guy have to reduce our sport to a circus act? Compare us to shuffleboard players? Ask where's the keg and cigs? What's it like for a non-athlete to be in the Olympics?" - Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"When I told friends I wanted to try curling, the endeavor was met with equal parts fascination and amusement." - JR Radcliffe, Lake Country Reporter

Curling Costs A Lot

"Ken said two curling stones cost upwards of $750..." - JR Radcliffe

"My instrucor was wearing $100 curling shoes, toting a $150 carbon-fiber USA curling broom and at one point actually used a curling stone with his father's name printed on it." - James A. Fussell

"[It] could cost you $400 a piece for the lower-end stones" - Spencer Hall, SB Nation

"...a pair of $200 specialized shoes with cool sliders on the bottom..." - Tom Hoffarth

"I'd also need to invest a few hundred dollars in a membership and curling-specific shoes and gloves." - Zachary Lewis

You Fall Down A Lot, And Use A Colorful Metaphor For It

"I was flat on my stomach, sprawled out on the target in front of me as if I'd just fallen out of an airplane without a parachute and landed on a pond in Alaska." - Tom Hoffarth

"I failed to execute the preferred form. Sprawled cartoonishly on the ground, arms extended and legs splayed, I looked more like a perp who'd been hit by a Taser." - James A. Fussell

"I contorted myself while pushing off on a device similar to a track starting block. With the grace of a water buffalo on stilts, I was soon sliding across the ice." - Danny Bernardini

You Pick It Up Really Quickly

"With my fourth rock thrown, I had landed in the house; which is a target area where curlers earn points." - Christy Marsters, The Hants Journal

"[O]nce, I was finally able to actually release the stone, give it the curl." - Tom Hoffarth

"In our last game I eased off the hack, let go of a stone, and watched it float behind some furious brushstrokes and loud yelling by our skip right on to the center dot of the house." - Spencer Hall

"After several rough attempts, I began to get it. I wasn't as stable as he was, but I wasn't bad." James A. Fussell

"I was delighted when two or three made their way into the target area, leaving me feeling like maybe I could play this game, after all." - JR Radcliffe

Sweeping Is Hard, Though

"It's cold out there, but trot up and down the ice for two hours furiously scrubbing away while chasing a sliding rock, and you'll earn the postgame beers plus some." - Spencer Hall

"I tried sweeping, and it requires a real physical effort." - Christy Marsters

"Then there's the sweeping, an aerobic beatdown all on its own..." Michael Hunt

" Sweeping is simpler to learn but more demanding physically. It's nowhere near as easy as it looks or sounds." - Zachary Lewis

Curling Makes You Sore

"[T]he slightly injured patella that resulted in my lower extremities screaming at me for a couple days afterward." - Danny Bernardini

"I needed to regroup and rub out my sore legs." - Tom Hoffarth

"I got a tad winded, my leg muscles began to burn, and I actually started to sweat in a 40-degree ice rink." James A. Fussell

"[I]t was surprising to feel my leg muscles were cramped." - Christy Marsters

"Once, I slipped and fell, landing hard on my tailbone, but even after I got the hang of it, I could tell this was a legitimate cardiovascular activity." - Zachary Lewis

Curling Is Fun!

"You may not have known what was going on, but like Tetris if you gave it longer than thirty seconds you were utterly hooked." - Spencer Hall

"As for me, when I'm on the podium receiving my medal in the 2022 Olympics, I'll always have the memory of sliding my first curling stone." - Danny Bernardini

"This was magnificent! I love this sport!" - James A Fussell

"There are far worse reasons to get out of the house on a winter's night." - Michael Hunt