How to Become an Olympic Curler

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Any meeting of the Winter Olympic Games prompts some spectators around the world to wonder what it takes to learn how to become an Olympic curler. Curling is a sport in which four members of a team use sweeping motions to deliver large puck-like objects, called stones or rocks, toward a target on an icy surface. The object of the game is to propel stones as close to the center of the bull's-eye target, the “button”, as possible. [1]

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Flickr: Michael (aka moik) McCullough
Education Curler training
Starting pay $400/month U.S. Olympic Committee stipend[2]
Median pay U.S. Olympic Committee medal bonuses: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, $10,000 for bronze[3]
10 yr growth Faster than average[4]
Related professions Professional hockey player, figure skater
Author Kasey Clark

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Olympic Curler Job Overview

In order to make a stone travel farther or more directly toward the button, curlers use brooms to sweep the ice. The motion warms the playing surface ever so slightly, allowing the stones to travel faster and in a straight forward trajectory. The time at which a curler begins sweeping, along with the pressure and speed of the motion, greatly impact how the stone moves.[5]

Olympic Curler Education

Potential curlers do not need any formal education in order to pick up the sport. Actually, many of the world’s most decorated curlers maintain full-time jobs in other fields such as medicine and finance. The journey associated with becoming an accomplished curler begins with finding a qualified instructor. There are hundreds of curling clubs in cities across the United States and abroad. Many colleges even sponsor teams and tournaments. The United States Curling Association website is one resource for finding information about local curling events.[6]

Olympic Curler Training

The training and preparation needed to become an Olympic curler begins years in advance of the winter event. National teams earn admittance to the games based on points accumulated in the World Championship competitions that take place one and two years before the next Olympic Winter Games. The top eight countries in both the men’s and women’s tournaments qualify for a spot to go to the Olympics. Two additional teams (male and female) can earn an Olympic berth at a final qualifying event that takes place a few months before the Games. These qualifying events are in addition to a country’s team trials for individual members.[7]

Paralympic Curling

Curling first appeared as part of the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. The wheelchair curling competitions are open to both males and females. The World Curling Federation reports athletes with a wide range of physical differences participate in this aspect of the Games, including amputees and those with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries.[8]

Olympic Curler Skills

A newscaster tries his hand at curling

Also See: How to Become an Athletic Trainer, How to Become a Fitness Trainer, How to Become a Sports Agent, How to Become an Olympic Athlete