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Reporting From the Ice
Scholastic Kid Reporter learns from the best.
By Toheeb Alejo, Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Toheeb Alejo (second from left) learned how to shoot the stone and sweep from  U.S. Olympic Curling Team members (left center) Cassie Johnson and (right center) Maureen Brunt.
Toheeb Alejo (second from left) learned how to shoot the stone and sweep from U.S. Olympic Curling Team members (left center) Cassie Johnson and (right center) Maureen Brunt. Also on the ice with Toheeb are fellow Kid Reporters (far left) Hunter Gallogy and (far right) Natalie Honodel. The demonstration was part of the U.S. Olympic Committee's media summit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in October 2005.
(Photo: Suzanne Freeman)
I went to the Olympic training center on Sunday, October 9, 2005. The event I covered was the U.S. Olympic Committee's Media Summit. The summit was held so that members of the press could get to know the athletes most likely to compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

The first thing I did was interview some of the figure skaters and ask them questions about their sport. My partner and I took a five-minute break between interviewing the athletes. I was scared at first, but then I started having fun.

After interviewing the athletes, I went to the Pikes Peak Center, where I ate some delicious food and met some other reporters. When I was done eating I went to the show where I got to see the Flying Aces perform. It was an amazing night.

The flying aces are a group of snowboarders and aerial skiers. They jump on trampolines on stage wearing snowboards and skis on their feet!

I also participated in a curling demonstration. Three of us were taught the technique of curling by members of the U.S. Women's Curling Team. We were taught how to "shoot the stone" and how to "sweep" in front of a stone.

The granite stones weigh 42 pounds and are smooth oval shapes. Each one has a handle on the top that you use to slide it across the ice. You have to do this from a squatting position with one leg stretched out behind you.

"Sweeping" involves using a stick with a rectangle on the end to rub the ice in front of the stone as it slides across the ice toward a target. Two people usually rub the ice with these "brooms" to melt it and make the stone move faster and in a certain direction. You work up a sweat really quickly doing that!

Curling has been around for many centuries, but it has only been an Olympic sport since 1998. It is very popular in Canada. No one is really sure when or where curling started but some say it started in Scotland. By the eighteenth century it had become Scotland's favorite pasttime.

Curling is a polite sport and the opposing teams are very nice to each other. "It's like a gentlemen's sport,'' said Jessica Schultz, a member of the U.S. Olympic Curling Team. "Before we go out on the ice we shake hands and after the game we usually go and sit with the team that we beat and get to know them."

The sport is growing in popularity in the U.S. Maybe someday there will even be curling scholarships for college!

It's certainly an interesting game to play.

"There's always something different and you learn something new every time you step on the ice," said U.S. curler Maureen Brunt.

Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.