Chicago curling enthusiasts keep icy tradition alive

With the Winter Olympics just around the corner, the sport of curling is coming out of hibernation once again.

But for a few hundred Chicago curling enthusiasts, the ancient and mysterious sport is an obsession. 

On a small patch of pebbled ice in Northbrook, the Chicago Curling Club is keeping an icy tradition alive. 

"I’m here four days a week," said club member Kailey Meyer. " I play a lot. I compete nationally. So I’m obsessed with it."

Founded in 1948, the Chicago Curling Club has about 250 members, ranging from teenagers to octogenarian‘s.

The game is played using what is called a rock, a 42-pound slab of polished granite, from a tiny island off the coast of Scotland, where curling began nearly 500 years ago.

Club member Matthew Sherry explains the basics. 

"There’s four players for each team. Each player throws two rocks," Sherry said. "The purpose of the game is to get as many rocks closer to the center, which is called a pin, in the house, which is the rings."


"I think the biggest misconception people have is that number one, it’s not a sport," said club member Steve Bergman. "And that it’s as easy to play as shuffleboard."

It certainly isn’t, as we found out the hard way while getting some curling lessons.  

"People think I can do that. I can be an Olympian," Meyer said. "It’s not as easy as it looks."

The club also features a roaring fireplace, a Curling history museum and, for after the game, a bar.

"The competitiveness on the ice is great, but then it’s so much community off the ice afterwards.," Sherry said.