Sioux Falls Curling Embracing Popularity Growth From USA’s Winter Olympics Success
Sioux Falls, S.D. – Every four years, some unique sports, such as curling,are put on the world stage during the Winter Olympic games.
But once the games are over, how does that exposure affect area leagues?
During the most recent Winter Olympics, the USA men’s curling team defied the odds to win their first gold medal in their history.
Now Sioux Falls curling is embracing the popularity growth since the gold medal team came back from Pyeongchang.
Sioux Falls Curling President Morgan Weber says the exposure from the Olympics is getting people in the door to try their sport.
“The Olympics are great for us. It gets us in front of the spotlight, people are watching TV more, they’re seeing it in front of their faces on TV and then they get to come in and try one of our events and they have a lot of fun. So I say curling is what gets them in the door perhaps, but the community behind curling is what really makes them stay,” says Weber.
Derek DeBates and his wife Erin are new to curling and say the recent american success is one of the reasons why they are at the Scheels Iceplex to try it out.
“I just think it was really fun to see the Olympics and the men’s team do so well and just kind of sparked my interest as far as wanting to try out curling,” says Derek DeBates.
Weber says interest in curling dipped around 16 years ago in the united states and it wasn’t until the 2004 Olympics where the passion and interest for curling returned.
“The Norwegian team has these kind of crazy pants and that helped catalyst curling as kind of this new, exciting sport.and it’s only grown from there,” Weber tells us.
Erin DeBates says her and her husband joined as a fun activity to do together.
“We ultimately joined the league together just as a new sport, something we can try to do together. I mean we’re married and just kind of a fun activity to do together,” says Erin DeBates.
Weber also says they’ve had to adjust to keep up with the new demand.
“We’ve gotten a lot of interest so far. We normally do about three tri-curling events a year. We sold out all three of our events this year and we have people waiting for more. So we’re going to keep doing them into the spring because we’re definitely seeing a lot more interest in curling overall and specifically in Sioux Falls,” says Weber.
Sioux Falls Curling has leagues on Friday, Monday, Wednesday and two on Sunday.
Weber says they’ve added 14 new teams in a 44 team field including around 160 total curlers.