NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- As Team USA begins their curling competitions in Beijing, a Lowcountry group is teaching the Charleston area how the sport works.
“All you have to do is go on our website and get your spot in there. It costs $45,” said Jackie Faglioli, a member of the Charleston Curling Club. “In about 45 minutes we teach you some basic curling drills, then we play a short game and you can start curling anytime you want.”
The club will also walk participants through the basics of curling.
“The object of the game is to get as many of our stones down to the other end of the ice in the target zone, which we call a house, to score points,” said Fagioli.
A curling match is played in eight to ten games, called ends, where players can score points by throwing and sweeping the stone.
“There’s four players on each team and all those four players are going to throw the stones twice,” said Fagioli. “Each player has a chance to score up to two points (in an end).
While one player delivers the stone, others sweep the stone as it rolls down to the house on the ice.
“Sweeping does two things, makes (the stone) go straighter and further down the ice by melting the ice just a little bit to kind of create its own path,” said Fagioli. “Strategy is huge because we are always thinking two or three steps ahead.”
The mixed doubles competition for curling has already started in Beijing, but there’s more to look for in the coming weeks.
“It’s been pretty intense. The action has been tight the entire contest,” said Dustin Hesse, another member of the club. “Both Team USA’s mixed doubles victories so far have been by one point.”
The USA men and women start their competition on February 9 and Hesse says that both teams are looking good. The men’s team is looking to repeat as gold medalists from the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“(The USA men’s team) has been doing really good the last couple of years in international play. They’ve been practicing really hard the last four years,” said Hesse. “I think (the USA women’s team) is another medal contender. They’ve been doing well in international play.”