Every four years, Texans who love the exotic Canadian sport of curling get the opportunity to say 'I told you so.' With the Winter Olympics in full swing and curling front and center, this is that time.
"I may not be able to ski downhill or get in a bobsled, but I can sweep the ice and throw a rock," Pat Popovich, who is a Texas curling instructor, told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
In fact, Popovich says she became interested in curling when she saw the Canadian curling team streak to the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics.
She says even though it looks like the classic barfly's sport, curling does require flexibility and hand-eye coordination.
"You need a quick mind, because it is a strategy game," she said. "You will run, or jog, about two miles in a match."
Curling is kind of an ice version of shuffleboard. Contestants throw a puck, called the 'rock,' across a sheet of ice which is segmented into four separate target areas. Sweepers armed with brooms accompany the rock on either side as it slides down the ice sheet, trying to influence the rock into sliding onto the proper part of the target.
Popovich says the cool thing about curling is that, unlike the half pipe and other amazing feats of ice and snow agility, pretty much anybody can curl. She says 'regular people' who practice can even make it to the Olympics.
She says what is nice about curling is that it is accessible, and makes the average man and woman thinking about participating in sports.
"It looks like an everyman's sport," she said. "It is the one Olympic sport, summer and winter, where people look at it and say, hey, I could do that!"