National Olympic Day June 23 was celebrated with a free curling class taught by Olympians John Gordan and Jessica Schultz at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Fogerty Arena, Blaine.
Throwing, sweeping, strategy and scoring were all covered during the two-hour session that ended with a competitive game between four teams of four members each.
Some students, like Cory Ricci, Blaine, had wanted to try curling since the year-round facility opened in January.
“It’s long overdue for me to try this,” Ricci said.
Some may have been surprised at the amount of effort that can go into the sport.
“I’ve never swept so much in my life,” said David Toftum, New Hope.
“I’ve got a new respect for the sport,” said Lori Sanoski, Brooklyn Park.
Gordan talked about being a member of Team USA in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, shortly after 9-11.
“To see the patriotism of the opening ceremonies and know all the prep and hard work that got us there — that was one of the most memorable experiences for me,” he said.
He had practical experience to pass along to the novices, too.
“When you hit the ice, it’s very humbling,” Gordan said. “We all fall.”
Schultz is part of Team Erika Brown. It won the 2013 National Championships in February and claimed a fourth-place finish at the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship in March. The team now competing to represent USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
Four Seasons Curling Club offers a variety of curling opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. To learn more, go to www.FourSeasonsCurlingClub.com or call 763-780-3328.