Ever since I first saw the sport in the Olympics, I’ve been fascinated by curling. I don’t know why, being many people consider it quite silly. But there’s something about it. In every Winter Games since it returned as an official sport in 1998, I’ve tried to watch as much of it as I could.
All the yelling and screaming and sweeping for some odd-looking stones on a sheet of ice.
Curling is thought to have been invented in Scotland in the 1500s. Curling artifacts from that time period have been found that support this claim. The sport has become much bigger than one country, however. Many countries from around the world play it.
A few years ago, I was at a geocaching event. When there, a geocacher mentioned being part of a curling club. I’m pretty sure it was one of the ones — Schenectady maybe — in the Capital Region in New York. Alas, I never followed up on it as I had mentioned having interest doing some photos.
I put that in the back of my head and moved on.
I always caught curling when on TV with the Olympics and such. And with that, I always said if I hit a lotto, I’d try and hire a world-class coach and grab some friends and find a way to try and get good enough to play in the Olympics.
Needless to say, I haven’t won the lotto.
However, earlier this year, one of the guys in the Capital Region disc golf group mentioned an open house at the Albany Curling Club. Turns out besides being a disc golfer, Deric was also a curler.
That triggered my mind — I still wanted to get photos of this wonderful sport. And while I was at it, maybe learn a little about the game, too.
So I reached out to Deric and inquired about doing some photography. He eventually set it up for me to come watch one his team’s matches against his coaches team.
Let me tell you — this sport is pretty cool.
It actually looks easy when you watch on television. Of course when you see it, you’re seeing world-class professionals. Take in mind that what I watched this past week was a local league. Think local softball or baseball. Or football. Something not at the top level.
But there’s something special about things at that level — regular people playing the sport. And understanding it. And knowing what is supposed to happen. That, of course, doesn’t always happen, but that’s what makes it even better.
With this being the only match being played when I was there, I had the chance to walk around the second sheet of ice as I took photos. This gave me the opportunity to watch the eight people — four per team — play the game. There were five males and three females among the two teams.
Though I didn’t understand everything going on, I got the gist of it. Watching the releasing of the stone and the sweeping was interesting. It’s definitely a sport that has grabbed my interest.
One thing I know — it’s a lot colder on that ice than I thought. I’ve been in many an ice rink, but it was cold! Should I go again, I’d have gloves and a winter hat!
It’s definitely a game I’d love to try one day. Hopefully, wherever I end up in this job hunt has a curling club as it seems like a great way to stay active and get out and do something fun and cool during the colder months.
You can see all the photos I have up from this past week by clicking here.
I’m also posting a few of my favorite shots below.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!