Curling Iron

Curling is a strange sport, and I can’t say that I’m strange enough to follow it. But the shuffleboard-like Olympic endeavor on ice must have some kind of following, or at least a curious gang of people who want to know more about it. Curling led television ratings for all Winter Olympic sports and was the third-most searched topic on during the 2006 Winter Games.

So this is what happens, I think: Two four-person teams face off, all equipped with curling brooms (more like brush mops, in this day and age), which are used to skid or throw the curling stone, an actual piece of highly polished granite, across the ice, as well as to sweep its path free of obstacles and bumps. Still there? Each team gets eight tries, or deliveries, and the point is to get each stone closer to the button (or center) of the house (the goal) than their opponents. One point is awarded for each stone that’s closer; an eight is the equivalent of a perfect game. Teams, by the way, are named for their skip (that’s lingo for captain).

I’m still admittedly a little lost here, but if this game of luck and skill appeals to you, you’re in luck: After a long schedule of competitions, the top eight teams in the nation will battle it out on the ice for the honor of representing the U.S. at both the 2009 World Curling Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, during the U.S. 2010 Olympic Curling Team Trials, February 21 through 28 at the Broomfield Event Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane. There are a variety of ticket options, from single tickets to a $550 full-event two-pack; for information, go to
Feb. 21-28, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd