- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Curling club takes advantage of Olympics-fed craze
PITTSBURGH (AP) - On the starting block, every amateur curler feels like an Olympian.
Then you push off the hack, a 42-pound stone in hand, and the sport that looks so languid on television - heck, it’s basically shuffleboard, isn’t it? - instantly transforms into the toughest thing you’ll do all day.
Mary Ganska found that out the hard way. A few seconds into her delivery, the Crafton resident lost her balance and slid out from the twisted crouch particular to this sport, sprawling across the ice.
The rock slid on, unperturbed. An instructor asked Ganska if her knees were bothering her, a common complaint.
“My knees aren’t bad,” she answered, laughing. “I am.”
Amid the slopes, slides and skating rinks of the Winter Olympics, few events capture the world’s imagination more than curling. For a handful of days every four years, the peculiar Scottish sport so popular in Canada becomes an international sensation, only to disappear again into obscurity at the end of the closing ceremony.
After more than a decade, the Pittsburgh Curling Club knows this cycle well. So the club made the most of the sport’s fleeting fame Sunday, hosting more than 400 people at Schenley Park's ice rink for half-hour lessons on curling - brooms and all.
Ganska brought her boyfriend, Andrew Wolf, also of Crafton. He has been known to wake up at 5 a.m. to watch Olympic curling (Ganska sleeps in) and extolled the sport’s preference for brain over brawn.
“It’s chess on ice - more cerebral than physical,” he said. “You have to plan your shot, and you have to think about it.”
As volunteers swept away snow from the ice, instructors Ian Webb and Kim O’Dell laid out the basics. Curling, like football, is a game of inches, with teams trying to slide stones as deep as possible into their opponent’s “house,” a serious of concentric circles.
The closer the stone lands to the “button,” or the center circle, the better the shot. But as in table shuffleboard, if an opponent’s stone slides closer, your point is taken away.
Playing with precision and pushiness, throwers want to land stones close to the button while bludgeoning their opponent’s positions. Other players with brooms can alter the stone’s trajectory and speed by scrubbing down a path ahead of it.
But the Pittsburgh Curling Club is hoping the participants’ brief encounter will help raise the sport’s local profile, helping the group slide toward its long-held goal of building a $1.3 million curling-only arena in Adams.
Right now, the 86-member club shares space at Robert Morris University’s Neville Island rink, where the only open time slot available is at 9 p.m. Saturdays.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- High schooler suing parents for money shot down by judge
- Italy outraged over U.S. gun dealer's 'David' ad
- Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared?
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again