• Homer “curlers” sweep up fun while throwing the stone
By Sean Pearson
Curling is cool.
Just ask any of the more than 35 curling-curious fans who tried their hand at throwing the stone on Sunday evening at Kevin Bell Arena.
The demonstration was part of Kevin Bell Day festivities that honored the rink’s namesake, and marked the end of the arena ice until next fall.
Following an exhibition by curling connoisseurs, as well as a quick rundown of the rules, Homer folks took to the ice to try their hand at the sport.
While manning the brooms seemed easy enough, maintaining balance while throwing the stone was apparently much trickier, as several fledgling curlers wound up scrawled across the ice rink floor.
The sport of curling was invented in medieval Scotland, with the first written reference to a contest using stones on ice dating back to 1541.
Currently, the sport of curling is most popular in Canada, where the Royal Montreal Curling Club established in 1807.
Curling has been an official sport in the Winter Olympic Games since 1998, and includes men’s and women’s tournaments.
The curling stone is made of granite and weighs between 38 and 44 pounds. The “skip” sends the stone toward his or her goal, sliding it across a 150-foot long rectangular area of ice called the “curling sheet.”
Sweepers use curling brooms to reduce friction underneath the stone, and to decrease the amount of curl. The stones curl more as they slow down, so sweeping tends to increase distance, as well as straighten its path.
The object is to get the stone as close to the middle of the target as possible.
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