Every four years, interest in the niche winter sport of curling skyrockets.
At Solar4America Ice in San Jose, there are league curling games almost every week.
âIt’s a wonderfully social game,â said David Steele of the Silicon Valley Curling Club. “There’s a lot of camaraderie. Anytime you think you know what you’re doing in the game, there’s another layer.”
Many members of the Silicon Valley Curling Club, like Jennifer Asis, have started watching the sport on television.
âIt’s actually crazy how much attention curling gets because nobody really knows what it is until they see it at the Olympics and then they’re mesmerized by it,â Asis said.
Almost every Tuesday at Solar4America Ice, the central rink – usually reserved for hockey – turns into a curling competition.
âWe put a lot of effort into making curling happen even when we don’t necessarily have a dedicated facility for it,â Steele said.
Club leaders said that as the Olympics approached, demand was skyrocketing. During matches, the club closes the league to educate the curious public.
âAnyone, regardless of age, skill level and physical ability, can play as soon as they learn,â said Asis.
If you want to participate, this is how curling is played.
âSo two teams take turns throwing 40-pound granite stones,â Steele said. âThey alternate the fact. They hit it on the bull’s-eye and try to get as close to the center as possibleâ¦ Everyone knows the sweepers or the brushes. It’s the people who help keep it going. The idea is once and for all. the world has thrown all its stones, you see which ones are closest and you are counting the points. “
It’s marked a bit like a pÃ©tanque ball. It is called curling because the stones curl on the ice.
In the Olympics, there are 10 rounds, or endings, in a match. And there is a whole language of new jargon.
âThe target is actually called the house, the center of that house is called the button,â Asis said.
For those new to a recent learn curling event, they have become instant fans.
âIt’s a lot more fun than I thought,â Esther Yoo said.