With just over one month until the world comes to the Adirondacks, organizers from the FISU World University Games were at Saranac Lake High School earlier to promote one of the events.
Curling, often called chess on ice, uses a combination of synthetic brooms and curling stones, and the objective is to get your team’s stone closer to the center of the target to beat your opponent.
Students at Saranac Lake High School got to play a version of that in gym class.
2018 Olympic Gold Medalist for US Men’s Curling Tyler George showed students how to play.
“I’ll be teaching them the different rules for the sport, the way the scoring works, we have a floor curling setup that is basically like if you were trying to teach people about tennis by showing them ping-pong, it’s a smaller version but the concept is still the same,” George said.
Organizers wanted to promote curling to Saranac Lakers so they understand the sport once the games get under way on January 12th.
“It’s really important for people in the community to know what curling is and to get the students excited about it,” said Emily Dwyer, Content Manager for the World Curling Federation. “Hopefully they learn a little about the sport and then come out and watch some of the games, it’s the top athletes in the world that are going to be here at the university level.”
All curling events for the games will be held at the newly renovated Saranac Lake Civic Center, which will be unveiled to the public later this month.
“I think our kids need to know how important this is for our community and our area, and we’re going to be having events at the civic center,” said Josh Dann, principal of the high school. “I’m hoping through today’s events and activities students will attend and get involved.”
Dann spoke about whether or not students understand the magnitude of the games.
“I don’t think so, I think that they are aware of it, but I’m not sure that they know the extent of all the work and all the time that’s been put into making this happen, so I’m excited for them to see it,” he said.
George said the games will have a high level of competition for curling, with both US teams favored to medal and potentially have future Olympians.