‘Flec in the house
by Kelsey Hipkin
Curling. For some, it’s a dull, lifeless sport consisting of an older crowd hanging out in turtlenecks and polyester pants.
For others, the strategy, the action and the curlers themselves (judging from the 2010 Olympic curling teams anyways) have made curling a hot attraction in the last few years for both young and old.
The Reflector hit up the Garrison Curling club off of Crowchild Trail, and much to the amusement of the league players around curled two magical ends to remember.
Some skipped, some slid, some swept and some fell but all of the editors that participated (some with more excitement than others) took it upon themselves to write a few words on what their curling experience meant to them.
Features Editor, Gabrielle Domanski
I’ve never been one for sports but for some reason I was keen on the idea of trying my hand at curling. I was assured that my inability to ice skate would not be a hindrance in this endeavor but upon seeing the expanse of ice we would be dealing with an unusual sensation came over me. As I stepped onto the ice my synapses began firing rapidly, bringing forward the countless memories of past winter tumbles where wrists had been fractured and noses had been scraped. A fear came over me, which to my embarrassment but perhaps subconscious relief, limited my position to skip, and occasional sweeper. Although the experience was enlightening, it reminded me of the gym classes of my youth where I was picked last, could never keep up, and tended to watch everyone else enjoying themselves. There’s a reason I became a writer.
News Editor, Zoey Duncan
A community curling arena is a lot like a community hockey arena, except instead of temperamental, yelling hockey moms there are serenely shouting skips. And instead of hockey equipment stank, there’s the collective foot smell of the over-50 crowd. This was my first hands-on curling experience; my very first exposure to the sport was seeing it on TV as a kid and wondering why my cartoons weren’t on. Curling is scarier than you’d expect. You wear a slippery shoe thing so you can smoothly slide behind a heavy stone, while balancing yourself with a broomstick so you don’t face-plant into the ice. Later, you run down the sheet of ice chasing the stone with that same broomstick. It’s an intricate game, folks.
Photo Editor, James Paton
My path to becoming a professional curler has been taken to the next level with the addition of The Reflector’s bonspiel added to my resume. Ok, so I’ve curled only once before in my life but boy did I have a good time. If I wasn’t sliding I was sweeping my way to a new love of the game that is curling. Although at first when I entered that cold rink with people screaming, “hurry hard!” and “sweep!” I was a little frightened but by the end I felt I was just one of the regulars. All in all I intend to return to the rink for another game as soon as possible.
Sports Editor, Kelsey Hipkin
I haven’t curled since I was in high school and despite my youthful glow, that was a quite a long time ago. Back then, my stones were either too light or too heavy and would go crashing right through the house. I love watching curling on TV; I find it fascinating and edge-of-your- seat excitement. The Garrison Curling Club’s signature smell elicited childhood memories of my parent’s curling tournaments back in the day. I had one minor fall due to a slider incident but after that I had a grand time with my ‘Flec peeps and, like Mr. Paton before me, can’t wait to get back to the rink.
Layout Editor, Kelsey Chadwick
I was having a bad day and wasn’t sure if I was really up for a throw around the old rings but I decided that I would venture out and partake in this one-time Reflector Bonspiel. Now, I’ve never curled before but being an avid athlete I wasn’t afraid to step onto ice; I mean really, I played hockey for eight years, I thought I would be alright on a curling sheet. But have you ever stepped onto a sheet of ice with a slider on your foot? If not, this is the analogy I thought of: it’s like when you’re tobogganing and you’re climbing the hill and you accidentally step on your crazy carpet and the next thing you know you are back on the bottom of the hill. This slider has a mind of it’s own, much like your bright pink crazy carpet. I think that’s what really challenged me in this curling game, but over all, I hurried hard and also got looked at by the old people for yelling too loud…but that’s no different from any other room I’m in.
Publishing Editor, Katie Turner
Curling was a large part of my early childhood as my mom ran the concession at the community curling rink until I was nine. Out of convenience for her, she entered me into a curling league so she could work while I curled. Every year, there was a tournament held around Easter and the members of the winning team won a frozen ham. I never won the ham.
Fortunately, all my scarring childhood memories of the icy sport vanished when I stepped on the ice with the Reflector team. That was until the final shot of the game, which belonged to me. The hammer. One shot to knock the other team’s rock out of the button and all I could picture was that damn ham. I reverted back to my 8-year-old self as my hand released the rock. It picked up speed, crossed the line, slammed the other rock out of the way and settled perfectly on the button. I’ll take my ham now.