This February, an event that happens every four years is about to begin again. I’m not referring to taking my wife out to a movie in an actual theater, I’m speaking of the Winter Olympics that takes place in Sochi, Russia. Twenty-five hundred athletes, representing 86 countries, will compete in close to 100 events over a two week period. Many of the events are thrilling and glamorous like downhill skiing and figure skating to name just a few. But the sport that I get excited about, and can still participate in, is curling. I’m not talking hair curling but the let’s-slide-a 40-pound-piece-of-granite-down-a-sheet-of-ice, curling. This venerable sport was founded in Scotland, the country that brought us some real great things like, Scotch, Scotch Eggs, Scotch Tape (not really) and for the ladies, Sir Sean Connery. The Scots also came up with the kilt and thankfully that fashion trend never caught on here. It’s one thing to see a cute gal in a plaid skirt, quite another to see your plumber or barber in one. Back to curling. Who would have ever thought this could be an Olympic sport? Some athletes spend countless hours going through physically exhausting training to compete at the Olympics. Training for curling consists of standing around waiting for your turn to slide the “stone” down the sheet of ice and being able to work a broom. I can do both of those really well. I was surprised to learn that the first curling club in the United States was founded just down the road in Orchard Lake, Mich. in 1830. I was even more surprised to find that Lansing has one of seven curling clubs here in the state. The Lansing Curling Club was founded in 2010 and has its home at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Dimondale. The club has programs for the novice as well as leagues so visit lansingcurls.org to learn more about what they offer. For me, curling is still a dangerous sport. Anything that involves the kind of ice you walk on and not the kind you put in a glass, I need to stay away from. So, I’m going to kick back and watch my favorite Olympic sport in my kilt, while enjoying a “wee bit” of the “water of life” and that snack that makes every cardiologist cringe, a scotch egg, or two.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.