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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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The sport of curling is sweeping into Rochester 

The sport of curling is sweeping into Rochester 

As the 2018 Winter Olympics begin to capture the world's attention, a local club is preparing to use the spectacle to spark interest in a sport that continues to grow in popularity across the U.S.

The Curling Club of Rochester is organizing a pair of events in town this month aimed at cultivating a curling community locally. Their ultimate goal is to draw enough weight (yeah, we just dropped a curling pun) to build a world-class curling facility here in the Med City.

"I love that it is a sport for all ages, abilities, and aptitudes," club member Naura Anderson told us this week.

The volunteer-led organization will host an Outdoor Curling & Olympic Watch Party at the Freight Yard on Monday, Feb. 12 from 5-9 p.m. The event is open to the public. Just consider buying a raffle ticket, a beer, or both.

Then on Sunday, Feb. 25, the club is offering  the chance to "learn to curl like an Olympian" at the Rochester Rec Center. Don't have a clue what you're doing? Not to worry. There will be experienced instructors on-hand to provide lessons, plus all the equipment and supplies are included in the $20 cost of admission ($10 for members of the Rochester Curling Club).

"You will learn how to throw a curling stone, how to sweep, and how to call shots," an announcement from the club says. "You will have the opportunity to play a short game and then learn about the spirit of the sport while you 'broomstack' with your teammates and opponents."

After the clinic, which begins at 7:30 p.m., participants are invited to stick around and watch the final round of the club's winter curling league.

Curling, which traces its roots back to the 16th century, first debuted in the Olympics in 1924 — but didn't return until the 1998 Winter Games. As you tune in this year, make sure to pay special attention to who's on the ice. All members of the U.S. curling team are from either Wisconsin or Minnesota.

Cover photo by Benson Kua

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