Local Winter Sport Interest Increases During Olympics

By: Ali Ingersoll Email
By: Ali Ingersoll Email

Some local sporting clubs, like Greenheck Field House and Wausau Curling Club, have seen an increase in participation and interest since the start of the Winter Olympics.

"The Olympics are always a big boom to curling here in Wausau," says Steve O'Keefe, the membership director at the Wausau Curling Center.

O'Keefe says he has more people than usual coming in and asking about the sport.

"They want to know how many pounds the rocks weigh; it is hard; how do you make the rocks curl," says O'Keefe. "We get all kinds of questions."

Watching the Olympics and participating in the sports gives young athletes an appreciation for the Olympians hard work.

"I think it's good if people come out and try the activities because I think, maybe, then they have a little more respect for how difficult it really is to build up to that skill level, where you can be a great Olympic athlete," says Marilyn Lausche, a Greenheck Field House employee.

Some young local athletes who watch the sports and try them out, hold on to that Olympic dream.

"I think it'd be a great thing to support our country and ultimately be the best in the world," says Alex Pagel.

No matter what sport the fans watch or try, they always root for the home team.

"When the Olympics come around, everybody is rooting for team USA to do very well," says O'Keefe. "For the most part, we do. I think talk this year was that maybe we would medal, maybe we wouldn't but no matter what, everybody still cheer for team USA."

The Greenheck Field House and the Wausau Curling Center both offer opportunities for beginners interested in learning more about the sports and participating. The links to their websites are at the bottom of the article.

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