7's Christa Delcamp learns to curl - WHDH-TV 7News Boston

7's Christa Delcamp learns to curl

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WAYLAND, Mass. (WHDH) -

It was a tough run at the Winter Olympics in Sochi for the United States men's and women's curling teams. Both teams were knocked out during the first round of competition.

Some call the sport a bit quirky, but that's not stopping people from catching curling fever. The Norwegian's men curling team got a lot of attention for their fancy pants. Syracuse's men's basketball team even getting in on the action, turning their practice court into a makeshift curling sheet.

Nancy Jennett of Natick has been curling at Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland for years. She gave 7's Christa Delcamp a curling lesson, and she found out for herself that it's a tough sport. It requires some strategy, sweeping and whole lot of sliding on the ice.

"It's like bocce on ice, with a little bit of shuffleboard," said Kim Jennett, who curls at the club.

Curlers play on the ice rinks specifically designed for their sports. You won't find any hockey or figure skaters on them. That's because the ice is not completely smooth, it has a bumpy surface, similar to that of an orange peel. They use what is called a pebbler to create that effect on the ice.

A big part of the sport is about delivery, gliding and turning a 42 pound granite stone across the ice. The idea is to get it into the target zone, called the house, as close as you can to the center to score. Teammates help to guide the stone's path by sweeping, which melts the ice.

"Your most competitive curlers are going to get as close as they can without burning," said Shelley Dropkin, who has been a member of the Broomstones Curling Club for 33 years. Burning refers to hitting the stone.

No matter how poorly or well you curl, there is a demand that you play with grace and be a fair competitor. Part of the sport's tradition is that the winners by the losers drinks afterwards.

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