2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner
  • Real curling ice – no, really!

    Fri, July 25, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    blue rock - close up

    You might think the days of July are too warm and lazy and perfect to think about curling, but you’d be wrong.

    This is the time curlers ponder the upcoming season. Who will I play with? What spiels will we enter? Do I need to step up my workouts? Where am I going to get the money to travel?

    A group of top American curlers were in Minnesota in recent days for a combine, hitting the ice and the gym with national coaches.

    A group of prospective junior and national players will be at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in August to fine-tune their training techniques.

    And here at the foot of the Rockies, we’re working feverishly to open the first regional REAL ICE curling facility in decades!

    Curling facility under construction in Golden, Colorado.

    Curling facility under construction in Golden, Colorado.

    I’ve mentioned this before on the blog: The closest curling ice to Colorado at the moment is in Bismarck, N.D., Phoenix, Ariz., and Seattle, Wash. So to have CURLING ICE in Golden, a mere 80 miles or so away from Colorado Springs, is huge. HUGE.

     

     

    Here’s a stop-motion video shot a month or so ago as the walls went up.

    https://t.co/o9vaquliIw

    Cool, eh?

    Come to think of it, 90-degree days are the perfect sort to think about a sport on ice.

    Want to learn more about curling? Scroll down through the blog or email me at dena.rosenberry@gazette.com.

     

  • Broadmoor Men win gold!

    Mon, June 16, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    at DIA

    at DIA

    The men’s team representing the Broadmoor Curling Club in Colorado Springs won the gold medal Sunday at the 2014 U.S. Curling Arena National Championships in Lansing, Mich.

    The team won the bronze medal last year and headed into the four-day competition full of fire.  (That’s vice skip/third Kevin Lyons of Colorado Springs and his son-in-law, Gordon Harrison of Windsor – yep, once a nationally ranked figure skater – welcomed home at DIA late Sunday, in the photo.)

    Skip Guy Scholz posted on Facebook afterward of his team (which also includes lead Nathan Mascarenas of Windsor): “…for the record, I said I loved this team before we won this thing, not after in the testosterone emotion of it all …This is as pure a TEAM as any I have been part of in any sport…”

    This foursome really clicks on the ice and they’re gentlemen, to boot. Fiercely competitive and also fun on and off the ice. They fought hard for the win and I couldn’t be prouder that they’re representing our club and the state of Colorado. Go, Broadmoor!

    Broadmoor women and San FranThe women’s team (me, Rachel Sethi of Highlands Ranch, Rochelle Sandstrom-Knight of Colorado Springs and Amilia Knight of Colorado Springs) gave the field a go and wound up 3-3.  This was the first competition for Rochelle and Amilia, and Rachel and I are extremely proud of the way they played and stepped up to the challenge of a high level of competition on good ice under the pressure of the time clock. I think they learned a lot and will continue to do a great job representing the club and the state. Amilia played with a sprained ankle and Rochelle played all but one game even though she was fighting strep (armed with 3 shots, antibiotics and fortitude!).

    The photo was taken just before our game against one of the San Francisco teams (Stacey MacNeil, Melissa Aaron, Keri Dikos and Cindy Beck). That me, Rachel and Amilia.

    Here’s the press release from USA Curling:

    Teams representing the Kalamazoo (Mich.) and Broadmoor (Colo.) curling clubs captured the 2014 USA Curling Arena National Championships titles this afternoon at the Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Lansing, Mich.

    Stephanie Senneker led her Kalamazoo teammates to a 9-3 victory over La Crosse (Wis.) Curling Club’s Toni Paisley, 9-3, in six ends to earn the women’s title. Canadian transplant Guy Scholz led his Colorado teammates to an 8-2 win over the defending champions skipped by Garnet Eckstrand of Kalamazoo, 8-2.

    In the women’s bronze-medal game it was an all San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club matchup with Sarah Walsh defeating Davina Kong, 7-6, in an extra end. Walsh’s rink, which finished runner-up last year at the inaugural event in Fort Wayne, Ind., had to keep holding off rallies from their clubmates. Pittsburgh’s Mark Robinson rink captured the men’s bronze medal win with an 8-4 topping of Windy City’s Matt Galas rink.

    Senneker (Perry, Mich.), 26, and her team of Pamela Nelson (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Nicole Brinkmann Reeves (South Bend, Ind.), Valerie Hart-Young (Kalamazoo, Mich.), and Barbara Little (Kalamazoo, Mich.) jumped out to an early lead over Paisley’s Wisconsin rink after scoring a deuce in the first end and stealing four points over the next two ends. Paisley, 21, and her team of Laura Mitchell (La Crosse, Wis.), Sydney Schieffer (Rice Lake, Wis.), and Erin Hofland (La Crosse, Wis.) got two points on the scoreboard in the fourth end to get back in the game. But Senneker’s rink scored three points in the third end to put her team in control for good.

    In the men’s final, Scholz (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.) and teammates Kevin Lyons (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Gordon Harrison (Windsor, Colo.), and Nathan Mascarenas (Windsor, Colo.) broke open a 1-1 tie in the third end by scoring three points against Eckstrand (Portage, Mich.) and teammates Kent Elliott (Richland, Mich.), Marcus Gleaton (Three Rivers, Mich.), Chris Gleaton (Kalamazoo, Mich.) and Thomas Deater (Kalamazoo, Mich.). That put the Broadmoor rink in the driver’s seat as they then rattled off points in three straight ends in the second half of the match to win the men’s gold medal.

    The women’s bronze medal game between the San Fran rinks went into overtime as Kong (San Jose, Calif.) and teammates Christina Altus (Campbell, Calif.), Loreen Makishima-Wolf (Hayward, Calif.) and Jennifer Lin (San Francisco, Calif.) scored a point in the eighth. Walsh and her team of Kimberly Chapin (San Francisco, Calif.), Emily Schermerhorn (San Francisco, Calif.), and Emily Kimmel (Burlingame, Calif.) just needed to score a single to sew up the bronze-medal win.

    The Pittsburgh men fell behind Windy City 0-3 after two ends of the bronze-medal matchup, but Robinson led his team of Brian Stuart (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Steve Buffington (Coraopolis, Pa.), and Daniel Bliss (Pittsburgh, Pa.) scored three points in the third end to tie the game. After stealing two points after that, Pittsburgh held Galas and his Chicago-area teammates Gregory Stewart (Aurora, Ill.), Jeff Sampson (Downers Grove, Ill.), and David Jamros (Downers Grove, Ill.) to just a single point in the fifth end. The Pittsburgh teammates countered with a single of their own and sealed the game with a double steal in the seventh end for a final score of 8-4.

    All of the final scores and official results can be found at www.usacurl.org.

  • Colorado goes for the gold

    Fri, June 13, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    Arena Nats patchColorado is sending two teams to a new event on the curling scene: Arena Nationals.

    This is an event based on an idea that a lot of teams Out West have been kicking around the past five years or so: a competition that pits hockey-ice curlers against one another.

    You see, there are two types of indoor curling: curling on dedicated ice in curling facilities and curling on hockey ice in multiuse arenas. In Colorado, all we have right now is hockey ice. In fact, the closest dedicated curling facilities are in Seattle, Portland, Phoenix and Bismarck.

    Exciting news break: We’re building a dedicated curling facility in Golden!  (I’d be even more excited if it were in the Springs, but cross fingers we get that done before the next Olympics. Before fall 2015 would be great!

  • Why more cowbell?

    Fri, April 25, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    Chris' dad - cowbellWhy ask for more cowbell – especially when some are asking for less?

    Although some curlers say loud noises wreck their concentration or make it more difficult to communicate as a team on the ice (that last part can be quite true), many curlers have embraced the enthusiasm of a rowdy crowd.  They love the support.  They love the cowbell.

    That’s the late Patrick Plys, father of U.S. Olympic curler Chris Plys, at the Winter Games in Vancouver, in the photo at right.  We’d all give up a lot if we could have him back rocking his cowbell in the stands!

    (If you don’t know the joke about “more cowbell,” there’s this video. Enjoy!)

    Grab your cowbell and come make some noise at the Broadmoor Curling Club’s High Altitude Bonspiel, Friday-Sunday (25-27 April) at the World Arena Ice Hall.  You can see the draw on the bonspiel link on the club’s website.

    My next game is at 5 p.m. Friday.  We were tied going into the 8th end, but did not have the hammer. We lost on last rock to the Red Rock team. Watch for them to be among this weekend’s top contenders for the championships!

    Follow me on twitter: @djrosenberry

  • More cowbell!

    Fri, April 25, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    World Arena Ice HallIf you loved watching curling on TV, come on over to the World Arena Ice Hall and see it live.

    The Broadmoor Curling Clubs annual High Altitude Bonspiel (tournament) begins at 9 a.m. Friday and concludes with the championship game at midday Sunday.

    (This post is edited. I’ve added links from an earlier version posted using my tablet. Tablet fail!)

    Twenty-four teams from Colorado and across the U.S. and Canada are here to compete. Players include former national champions.

    We’ll play 8-end games, which last about 2 hours. There will be four or five games underway at any moment, so you’ll get your share of drama.

    Here’s a list of the teams playing in this year’s spiel.

    My team, the Broadmoor Bullies, plays at 11:30 a.m. Friday. And then we should be playing at 7:30 p.m. Friday. I’ll update with a post about that later.

     

     

  • Curling 101: Sweeping Your Opponent’s Stone

    Thu, March 6, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    Curling sheet perspectiveHere’s another great question, by reader Mary Keeley:  Why would one team sweep the other team’s stone in the house?

    The simple answer is “to keep the opposing team from scoring.”

    There are a few instances in which you might do this, and there’s only one area in which it’s permitted.

    You may sweep the opposing team’s stone when it crosses the far tee line, which bisects the house, or rings. (That would be the scoring end of the sheet of ice, not the delivery end.)

    You can sweep that stone all the way through the house and past the back line and out of play. (Keep in mind that a stone touching the house – even by a millimeter – can score a point, and a stone sitting beyond the house but still in the field of play can be used as a “backstop” of sorts for another rock to score a point.)

    Or you may sweep that stone just out of point contention.

    Or you may sweep the stone roughly a stone’s width past the tee line in order to place your own stone right in front of it, called a “freeze,” which could allow you to score a point.

    Here’s a video of a freeze shot on the button.

    Thanks for the excellent question, Mary!

    Send your questions to dena.rosenberry@gazette.com.

    You can watch games from the U.S. National Championships at the USA Curling website, courtesy of TESN – Twelfth End Sports Network. Ben “Tuck” Tucker is providing informative and entertaining commentary, and he’s had special guests join him. This morning, Olympian Ann Swisshelm stopped by to provide insight into the Carlson-George game.

    Follow me on Twitter: djrosenberry

  • A new national team?

    Sun, March 2, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    Brady ClarkThe Sochi Games are over, but curling continues around the world!

    The World Junior Championships are underway in Switzerland, the Paralympic Games are about to begin in Sochi (first wheelchair curling game is March 8), and the U.S. National Championships began Saturday evening in Aston, Pa., just outside Philadelphia.

    The USA men’s Olympic team is competing at 2014 Nationals, but the women’s team is not. The field is full of national champions from recent years, and the week promises plenty of great games.

    Check usacurl.org for live webstreamed games!

    We’ll see at the end of the week if John Shuster’s team can hold onto its national position or if we have a new national team.

  • Curling 101: It’s a civil sport

    Wed, February 26, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    HandshakeOne of the things I enjoy about curling is the camaraderie among athletes, no matter the level of competition.

    Whether you’re at Sunday afternoon family league or the Olympics, curling games begin with handshakes between the teams – and usually a handshake, pat on the back or fist bump among teammates.

    Good shots are congratulated – by your opponents as well as your teammates. Bad shots are commiserated. (We’ve all been there, no need to rub it in.)

    If someone if having a rough streak, missing shot after shot, and then breaks that streak – he or she likely will get a “nice shot!” or high-five from the opposition, even if that means a lost point.

    Missed shots are never cheered.

    There’s lighthearted banter, but no real trash talking. You can be ejected from a game for cursing or stomping around or slamming your broom in frustration. You’ll hear a swear word now and then, but not a string of them. You’ll hear someone smack a broom on the ice when he misses a key shot, but he’ll probably be red-faced with embarrassment for doing so. And will apologize.

    One of my dreams is to bring the sport to teens in Colorado – to introduce them to a sport that prizes good sportsmanship, requires individual excellence and mental and physical discipline, and demands great teamwork.

    If you’re interested in learning to curl, you can sign up for lessons at the Broadmoor Curling Club’s website, the Denver Curling Club’s website, with Fort Collins or ATeam USA - Sochi - handshakespen – or, if you live elsewhere, check the calendar of events and list of clubs nationwide at the USA Curling website.

    And while I’m at it, I’m giving a shout out to one of the great gentlemen of the game in the United States: Brady Clark, who is national champion and an all-around great guy who curls out of the Granite Curling Club in Seattle. He’s fiercely competitive but always gracious on and off the ice.

    You can “meet” Brady (below) in this wonderful feature story that just appeared in the Lynnwood Herald. The writer, Bruce Overstreet, captured the essence of this American sportsman. It makes me even more eager to meet up with Brady and his wife, Cristin, again, at the U.S. Mixed National Championships in March.

    Brady ClarkGood curling, everyone!

    Send your questions about curling and comments to dena.rosenberry@gazette.com.

    Follow me on Twitter: @djrosenberry

  • Ode to Norway’s curling pants

    Fri, February 21, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    Norway curling pants (v Team USA in Sochi)“Like so many of the beautiful things we lose too soon, perhaps these pants were simply too good — too original, too sophisticated in concept and style — for this harsh and unforgiving world,” writes Sam Laird for Mashable as he takes a spin through the week of shocking slacks sported by Norway’s men’s curling team.

    Check out Sam’s grades of the team’s pants on a Scale of 1 to 10.

    Fox News wondered if the pants played a role in Norway’s loss against Great Britain, which booted them from medal contention.

    The Huffington Post also shared a gallery of curling pants fashion.

    Still can’t get enough?

    You can become a fan of the team and their pants on Facebook.

    Or check out Loudmouth, the company that makes the pants. (They were created for that other oddly addictive and maddening Scottish sport, golf.)

  • Curling is hot at Winter Olympics

    Wed, February 19, 2014 by Dena Rosenberry with no comments

    SOCHI OLYMPIC GAMES WOMEN'S CURLING#Curling! #Curling! #Curling!

    You may be mystified, you may be entranced, you may be in love. But whatever you are, you’re watching, Facebooking, tweeting, pinning and “sharing” curling.

    According to NBC Sports research chief Alan Wurtzel, curling is scoring again in the Olympics. In a teleconference with the Sherman Report, Wurtzel said more than 5 million viewers tuned in to watch curling on the first day it was broadcast.

    It was the  top-rated sport of the day on NBCSN, which, by the way, was the No. 1 cable network. (No, not just the No. 1 sports TV network, as the Sherman Report noted.)

    “On CNBC, curling delivered 1.2 million viewers, its highest viewer delivery ever for that Monday time period,” Wurtzel said.

    The most tweeted sports in the world this week?  1.) curling, 2.) ice dancing, 3.) figure skating, 4.) snowboard 5.) ice hockey.

    Niklas EdinHeck, we’ve had the men’s Great Britain vs. Sweden game on in the newsroom this afternoon – and we know how the game ends!  (Who wouldn’t want to watch Niklas Edin, left, or Anna Sidorova, below, for a few hours?)Anna Sidorova