For many people, the Olympics were a big deal growing up. From the music to the spectacle to the storylines, and not to mention, the glory of the sport. Well, this next destination couldn’t be more ideal. Get ready to hit the ice and test your athletic prowess in a sport that defines the winter Olympics—curling.
Welcome to the Ice Chalet—home of the Great Smoky Mountains Curling Club. Even down south, guys and gals try their hands and brushes at this fun and challenging sport.
The history of curling began in 16th century Scotland. It started with some highlanders skimming rocks across frozen lochs and ponds and then evolved into a formalized competition. Queen Victoria was a fan. And today, competition curling stones are still made from dense polished granite from Scotland.
Weighing 44 pounds, the bottom of the stone is concave so that only the outside ring, called the running band, is in contact with the ice. This feature minimizes the friction and allows the stone to slider further. When you spin it, it turns, hence the name, curling.
The goal is to slide these stones across 45 meters of ice and land them in the house or the target you see on TV. Players must get as close as possible to the center, also known as the button. The team with the most stones in the house and closest to the button after all stones are gone, wins.
They call it chess on ice, and it’s hard to do, but it’s also fun! No matter the difficulty, it’s about getting out and trying something new. The folks at the Great Smoky Mountains Curling Club are fantastic! They have regular curling nights at the Ice Chalet, and they’ll be more than glad to have you. For those in Georgia and the Carolinas, check out the curling clubs in Atlanta and Greenville.
So, pile some friends in the car, fuel up at Ingles, and head to your local curling destination. Visit these amazing folks online at CurlKnoxville.com. Don’t forget to stay on your feet long enough to have a good time!
To learn more about Ingles Market, visit their website at ingles-markets.com.