MATT CAN DO THAT: Matt hits the ice to try the Olympic sport of - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

MATT CAN DO THAT: Matt hits the ice to try the Olympic sport of curling

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FREMONT, Neb. (KTIV)-Some call it "chess on ice" by some. Every four years, the sport of curling catches the eye of casual fans at the Winter Olympics. But, die-hards hit the ice, year-round.

So, KTIV's Matt Breen enlisted their help to learn more about the sport, and find out if "Matt Can Do That!"

Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "It would have been 4 years ago." Terry Hoffman remembers the moment he "threw" himself into the sport of curling. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "I'm sitting at home watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics."

Hoffman was the Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Sioux City. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "And, I thought 'oh man, wouldn't that be really cool to have that as a program for the department?'"

Two problems. Participation. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "In Iowa, at that point in time, I couldn't find anyone who was doing it." And, price. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "It's about $5,000 per set of stones. It's a big investment to get started."

Hoffman found the rink, and the gear, in Fremont, Nebraska. That's where he agreed to teach Matt to curl like a pro. Matt Breen, Reporting said, "These aren't light. How much do these weigh?" Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "44 pounds." Matt Breen, Reporting said, "So, I'm supposed to push this to the other end of the ice, and land it in a ring that looks like that." Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "Yep. Easy." Matt Breen, Reporting said, "Where am I supposed to land it?" Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "You're supposed to land it in what's called the the 'house'. And, in the center of the 'house' is the 'button.'"

That sounded simple enough to Matt, until his first three throws stopped well short of the "button". Matt Breen, Reporting said, "Well, it's certainly didn't make it anywhere near the button. But, it's on the other end of the ice."

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "It's not like you have to wind up and push it a lot harder. It just needs a little bit more."

So, after some words of wisdom, Matt makes a shot count. Matt Breen, Reporting said, "Yes!"

But, success doesn't just depend on the thrower. Sweepers use brooms to keep the stone moving in the right direction. Terry Hoffman, Sioux City Curling Club said, "This is used to create a thin layer of water that 's created by the friction of the broom on the ice to make the stone travel farther."

The problem? Matt has to keep ahead of the stone to smooth the way. He didn't. Matt Breen, Reporting said, "Boy, that moves a lot faster than you think it would."

That's why, when you watch curlers throw, and sweep, in Sochi, you can truly appreciate how "slick" the sport really is.

The Sioux City Curling Club will host its 4th annual "Curling Classic" on March 21st and 22nd, at the I-B-P Ice Center, in Sioux City. You can register a team of up to six people. Contact Terry Hoffman at (712) 577-4981.

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