Local curlers receive advice from 2018 Olympic gold medalist


The Pine Tree Curling Club hosted 2018 Olympic curling gold medalist Tyler George in Portland on Saturday for an event aimed at building the sport in Maine.

PORTLAND, Maine – Saturday was one of those Maine winter days when it was colder inside a hockey rink than outside in the snow. Members of the Pine Tree Curling Club spent the afternoon doing what they do best, with an Olympic athlete in attendance.

With less than two months of the Beijing Winter Olympics, curling will return to the international stage. Every four years, curling club memberships increase across the country, according to those who know the sport best.

“This is largely because of [Team USA’s] success in 2018 [Olympic] games and seeing him grow up in places where curling wasn’t a factor before and people accepted him and have a passion for it in the same way that we’ve always had in the Midwest is really fulfilling for us ” , 2018 Olympic gold medalist Tyler dit Georges.

George has now dedicated his time to supporting the game’s growth effort. After leaving the podium four years ago, George left the sport and retired from competition. He spent his Saturday at the William B. Troubh Ice Arena giving advice to novice and even experienced curlers.

Ben Duffy is a member of the club’s board of directors. He said the membership is around 50 to 100 curlers despite the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the number. Fortunately, Duffy said, people found a safe way to participate by wearing masks and keeping their distance from each other on the ice.

“It’s really intriguing to play, and it’s a great sporting experience, and it’s also a great social experience,” added Duffy.

Duffy said Saturday’s event was a way to encourage more people in the Portland area to try curling. The Belfast Curling Club also organizes events and competitions for residents of this part of the state.

Curling events will be held almost daily during the February Olympics. George then said that anyone can participate, “It’s a bit like golf – it takes a lifetime to master it.”

He added that what people don’t see on TV are the hours of training and practice these athletes need to do to prepare for the Olympics.

While not in Beijing, George said he would support his team from home, shouting on television. This year, the gold medalist said the US men’s and women’s teams have a chance to win a medal.

For more information, you can visit their website at https://pinetreecurlingclub.com/

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