Why is curling such a popular sport in Utah?

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KEARNS, Utah (ABC4 Sports) — One of the most interesting sports to watch at the Winter Olympics is curling. It has been part of the Winter Games since 1924.

Curling lessons have been sold out for months at the Kearns Olympic Oval. So why is this sport so popular?

ABC4 athletic director Dana Greene took a lesson to find out.

“While you’re playing, there’s always something to do,” said curling instructor Trevor Duersch. “So either you call the shot, you throw a shot, or you sweep.”

Basically, you slide a 44-pound granite stone across the ice, while your teammates “roll up” the stone as they sweep, influencing its speed and direction.

“You affect this stone, Duersch said. “Either you help him curl up more, stay in a straight line, or you just try to get a little more distance out of it.”

You try to land the stone in the target “house”, knocking away your opponents’ stones to score points. It’s a bit like shuffleboard or pétanque.

Your dominant foot pushes in what is called the “hack”. The slider goes under your foot to help you glide across the ice. While you’re holding the stabilizer, you throw the rock, hoping it lands in the house.

“All you have to do is throw the rock and hope you get it in the house and get some points,” Duersch said.

Easier said than done. Click on the video to see how much fun curling can be.

You can sign up for curling lessons on the Olympic Oval website.

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