Obscure winter Olympic sport gaining popularity in Morgantown

Olympics

The Morgantown Curling Club meets once a month to teach the basics of curling. (WBOY Image)

Watch reporter Jake Ostrove try curling for the first time!

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Have you ever watched curling on the Olympics and thought, ‘wow, I want to try that’? You can now fulfill that dream right here in West Virginia.

There is only one curling club in the entire state of West Virginia, and it’s situated in the heart of Monongalia County. Once a month, the Morgantown Curling Club takes the ice at the Morgantown Ice Arena to teach people the basics of curling.

“We’re a small group of people that are just trying to get the word out about curling,” said Heather Barclay, an instructor for the curling club.

The club is small — the latest “Learn to Curl” featured 17 people, plus a few instructors. January marked the first time the club was able to get together since the start of the pandemic. Previously, the group’s attendance was not much greater, but it only takes four (give or take one or two) people to make up a team.

“There are four positions on the team, sort of like a relay race,” Barclay explained. “You have a first, you have a second, you have a vice, and you have a skip. The skip is the manager, so to speak.”

Everybody on the team sweeps except for the skip, who calls out directions for sweepers and throwers when they are not throwing. (WBOY Image)

The foundation of the Morgantown Curling Club came shortly after the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, when the USA curling team captured gold for the first time in its history. However, while curling is not as easy as the team made it look, it did not deter from the enjoyment the group had.

“You don’t have to have Olympic form to have fun with this game,” said Jeff Ryan, who founded the curling club.

There are two more curling club sessions scheduled for 2022 in February and March. Click here to learn more about the Morgantown Curling Club.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Link to 12 things you need to know page

WBOY 12 News Facebook Page

Trending Stories