On this hot summer’s day, I’m recalling how refreshing it was to do curling with our summer students a few weeks ago. You may be saying: “Curling in Korea? Do you mean that unusual Olympic sport whereby the athlete sends a round brick down a lane of ice so that people with brooms can sweep all around it as it glides slowly down the ice?” That’s exactly what I mean.
Gangneung and Pyeongchang, the main destinations of our summer Explore Korea excursion, are where the 2018 Winter Olympics were held. Some of the facilities that were constructed for the Olympic Games are now open to the public, which is how our summer students were able to experience curling. We learned some of the basic rules of curling and about scoring. We also learned that the sweeping is to change the path the stone takes and help it move straighter by warming up the ice and thereby reducing friction.
We were divided into teams of four each and two teams competed against each other. As the curling center is large and the lanes are long, we had many teams on the ice at the same time. It was great fun and everyone laughed and joked a lot.
Being a hot sunny day, it felt good to be on the ice and in the chilly air. And it was exhilarating to send the curling stone sliding down the ice toward the target. I can’t wait to curl again!