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GOLDEN, Colo. — Every four years, Americans go crazy over an Olympic sport rarely seen outside of the Winter Games.

Curling has become one of the most popular events for viewers. So, the Denver Curling Club has opened its doors to those looking to quench their curling curiosities.

“We are the only dedicated curling rink in Colorado. The next closest one is Bismarck, North Dakota, or Tempe, Arizona,” Denver Curling Club president Phil Moir said.

On Sunday, the club hosted an open house-style event where newcomers could try their hand at curling. Every time slot was filled.

“We spent all day (Saturday) watching curling on TV and so we’re like let’s go,” Molly Carboy said.

League members taught the first-timers proper technique, strategy and the lingo.

“Rocks” are the 42 pound puck-like objects that are slid across the ice.

A curler loads his or her feet into the “hacks,” which are like starting blocks, then performs a lunge across the ice in order to throw the rock.

“Sweepers” use “brooms” to clear a path for the rocks as it slides toward the “house,” which looks like a target, at the opposite end of the rink. Sweeping the rock allows it to travel farther and straighter.

“Two really good sweepers can take it like 10 feet,” Moir said.

The object of the sport is to to get more of your rocks closer to the “button,” which is the smallest circle in the center of the house, than your opponent.

“I think what happens is people go, I can do that. If I’m going to the Olympic Games that’s how I’m going to go there,” Moir said.

While curling is really for players of all ages, it isn’t as easy as the Olympic athletes make it look.

“It was a lot harder than we thought. Keeping your balance when you’re trying to slide on the ice, it’s not very easy,” Carboy said.

There were quite a few crashes in two 30-minute sessions Sunday and a whole lot of laughs.

“It may not be as easy as it looks, but it’s easy to have fun,” Moir said.

The Denver Curling Club will hold several more Learn to Curl sessions during the 2018 Winter Games at its facility at 14100 W. Seventh Ave. in Golden.

  • Feb. 17: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (ages 12 and under)
  • Feb. 17: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (all ages)
  • Feb. 17: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (all ages)
  • Feb. 18: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (all ages)

For the children’s lesson, all participants must bring a helmet.

Each session costs $20 per person and includes 30 minutes on the ice, a free nonalcoholic drink and the opportunity to watch curlers in action. No sign-up is needed.