Friday, February 12. 2010
I received the confirmation text at 11:08 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11.
I was on the team. I was on the team!!! I was actually picked for a team!
What team you may ask?
Answer: Star 102.5s Curling Team, which was composed of Rob Lucas, morning show host, Justin Swain, traffic guy, and me, a producer and fill-in for one of the guys from WGR who had other obligations to tend to.
We were up against WGRZ Channel 2s Daybreak Team, made up of Jodi Johnston, Andy Parker and John Beard. Heather Ly filmed the festivity.
Next week, during the 2010 Olympics, the Daybreak Team will be airing different Olympic type competitions between various other morning show ensembles.
When I heard the news, I went out to purchase sneakers, I got some with treads, and immediately looked up online to see what curlers wore. Looking up what the whole sport was about was important, but not impending like the fashion aspect of it was. Good ol Wikipedia helped me there.
Jodi had the best outfit though for curling. It even contained many articles of jewelry.
I was psyched and pumped. I was more than excited. With my passport in hand I bolted out of my house to arrive at Robs house to carpool to the Niagara Falls Curling Club, located just over the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Both teams were greeted by Murray, the curling coach of Brock University. When we entered the curling arena we were asked to clean off our shoes in this machine that used a spinning wheel to get the access debris off before entering onto the pebble ice.
Murray went over the instructions, the equipment and asked us to give hurling the rock down the ice a try. The ice isnt as slippery as a skating arena, but it does have its moments.
I was the last one up trying and it was fun. You use the broom to balance as you push off from a track like mount and ride on the handle of the rock until you let it go before reaching the hog line.
Sweeping now that is a different story. You get winded sweeping harder and faster. Its pertinent to also outrun the rock, which is difficult at times to do considering your running on ice with sneakers. With sweeping you can definitely feel it in your arms.
In my younger years, I watched curling here and there and it looked easy. The college students who were there helping Murray made it look so easy.
When you take part in certain activities you realize how challenging it is. You realize how hard these athletes work to be the best they can be. You get an appreciation for the sport when you participate in it. Murray and his team of students, when they talked of curling, were so passionate and engaged with it. You could definitely tell they loved it.
After we tried our hand at each part of curling, we commenced our game.
Each of us threw the rock twice. My rock actually landed in a scoring spot, until Jodi knocked it out. But her's was a really good shot. Everyone was good at it, despite all of us being novices, although Andy did have some experience.
Although I cannot tell you the outcome of the competition, as you have to watch it during WGRZs Daybreak show from 5 to 7 a.m., I can tell you that it was on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting.
All in all it was an amazing, one in a lifetime experience. The 2014 Winter Olympics have six great backups if they need them. Check out the video on WGRZs Daybreak during the Olympics.
The only disappointment of the experience was not getting my passport stamped.
At Niagara Falls Curling Club they rent out lanes, just like bowling. Maybe, I'll suggest that activity to my friends.
Read Jodi's blog here
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I love your story! I can picture it! Thank you for being part of this magazine!!!
How gratifying it is to read all the wonderful comments about my articles, thank you! My readers seem to be happy, but oh, my relatives and friends! They keep living in fear that I'll continue to write about them, but I write about 'strangers,' too. People can be so colorful!