CREVE COEUR, Mo. — Curling is an interesting sport that was officially added to the Winter Olympic program during the 1998 Nagano, Japan, games.
Two teams take turns sliding heavy, 44-pound granite rocks called stones across the ice towards the house. It all starts with the hack followed by a graceful glide before letting go of the stone. If the stone goes off course, a sweeper can help it slide the right way by brushing or sweeping a path on the ice.
The sport has its own following here in St. Louis with the St. Louis Curling Club in Creve Coeur. The group meets on the weekends and instead of being out on the town, they're on the ice.
Phil Stein is with the club. He said everyone is out on the ice because they have a passion for the unique sport. He added that curling takes a lot of control and discipline to master.
"It takes a lot of finesse and precision," Stein said. "It's a lot more than just hitting stones."
The teams try to score by getting their stone the closest to the center, while at the same time, trying to knock out the competition.
"One team scores at every end. And obviously you want to be that team," he explained.
Even if you don't have that perfect precision, that's alright. The spirit of curling is all about camaraderie.
"You're always going to have a beer with the team you just played against, win or lose," said Stein.