YOUR TOWN: GREATER WAUSAU AREA - It's been one year since the Wausau Curling Association opened up its new facility and its state-of-the-art features have caused quite a buzz among the curling community.
"I mean everywhere we go, 'oh you're from Wausau, you've got that new place,'" said Wausau Curling President, Jeff Stubbe. "World wide, this has gotten a lot of publicity and a lot of interest and so people are looking forward to getting here, finding ways to get here for events."
The facility features an eight-sheet Olympic size arena with technology like aerial cameras so spectators can get a full view of the action. There's also a co-ed locker room with gender-separate changing and restrooms, something the old facility did not have. Everything in the facility is wheel chair accessible. These new features have allowed for Wausau Curling to provide many levels and types of tournaments called bonspiels.
"In general, you can enjoy curling without having all of the, you know, what the high-end competitors, the Olympic type curlers do," said Stubbe. "You can curl if you've got back issues or knee issues. Now there's a stick release, so you're not having to bend down."
But there's more to curling than just playing the game. It's a social sport, like golf and it's tradition for the competing teams to come together and talk about the game. There's a dining and lounging area with tables that seat eight to accommodate that tradition. A full bar and kitchen are also available but you'll have to bring your own food and chefs. Stubbe said he and other members did not want to skip any corners on this new facility.
"Central Wisconsin is really unique. We've got granite peak, we've got the kayaking course, we've got this curling facility, there's not many communities that have that kind of unique things and it's all about the quality of life kind of thing. So now it's like when we do something, let's do it right, lets make it a destination spot," said Stubbe
The facility was paid for through donations and fundraisers, costing about five point two million dollars
This year they're hosting the US Senior Men's Championships, which generally has around 70 teams competing; that makes for 210 people, and those are just the competitors. Wausau Curling is also planning on bring in one of Madison's top curlers to come train wheel chair curlers, proving curling can be for people of all ages and abilities.
"I consider it one of those life sports because once you've learned how to do it you can curl all the way from youth all the way to your senior years," said Stubbe.
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