Curling event keeps them comingSeventeen years ago, Joe Walewski and about 20 other curious folks from Finland’s Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center decided to try curling.
By: Cathy Erickson, Lake County News Chronicle
Seventeen years ago, Joe Walewski and about 20 other curious folks from Finland’s Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center decided to try curling. They arranged for a few games and had a great time.
That day at the curling club has evolved into a yearly tradition and a reunion of sorts. Former Wolf Ridge staffers from all parts of the world return for the annual Wolf Ridge Bonspiel, and each year some will be trying curling for the first time.
This past Saturday at the Two Harbors Curling Club, more than 70 participants played on 16 teams in a double elimination tournament where the winners received the prized Lake Superior Stone and their name on the winner’s banner.
As Walewski looked over the list of former winners, he can see that many of them had never tried curling before signing up for their first tournament. Now they come back every year, and some of them have even joined curling leagues.
As host of the annual bonspiel, the curling club has also watched the tournament grow and feels it has been a great opportunity to expose people to a sport that has been gaining in popularity since it became a full-medal sport in the Olympic Games. The club has had several “Wolf Ridge Day” participants become members over the years because they had so much fun at the events.
Several Two Harbors members have been involved with the bonspiel for many years and all of them remark on how great it is to see the enthusiasm and fun the teams have both on and off the ice.
Walewski doesn’t anticipate giving the tradition up. “It’s just too much fun to stop … ever.”