Wausau curling is breaking into the national stage by hosting this year's National Senior Men's Curling Championships.
"It's a very significant opportunity for the club to raise its stature on the national and even North American level," United States Senior Men's Curling Association National Championship Chairman, Perry Grueber said.
Sixty-four teams from around the country made the trip to Central Wisconsin this week, even coming as far away as Orange County, California.
"We are the team that traveled the furthest to get here, 2100 miles and we're having a great time," Ken Millar with the Orange County Curling Club in West Minster, CA said. He and his team said it was absolutely worth making the long trip to Wausau. "We wouldn't have missed it. We curl on arena ice back where we play and this is a fabulous dedicated ice facility. The people here have been very, very hospitable."
Four curlers per team times 64 teams spending four days in Wausau, means 250 or more people staying in hotels and eating at restaurants and boosting the Wausau economy.
Millar and his team certainly have been taking in the Wausau attractions. They went to a couple of breweries and could not miss out on a traditional Friday fish fry.
Curling also seems to be on the rise, too, as the Olympics peaks viewers interests.
"The advent of the Olympics as being a metal sport, the sport has grown very well, not only in the United States, but in other parts of the world," Bob Flemming of the Kettle Moraine Curling Club said. "There are eleven to twelve new curling clubs in the last five years, just in the United States."
This event may not be the Olympics, but it is the top event for this association and next year, it is in St. Paul, Minnesota.
"People here in Wausau have done a great job in putting this together, so if we do half as well as them, we'll be happy," said the organizer for the 2015 USSMCA National Championship, Dick Goodspeed.
Events started early Wednesday with a welcome reception and will end on Sunday with thirteen flights working towards the championship titles.
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