Team Elwing curls at Youth Olympics

The first week of November – the week most Central students would know as term finals week – held a rather different meaning for Michael (’17) and Ryan (’18) Elwing, fourth generation curlers for 12 and 11 years, respectively. This particular week, the Elwings had the opportunity to curl in the Youth Olympic Games national trials, held in Minnesota. The competition determines which teams will gain the opportunity to go on to the international Youth Olympics this year, which are held in Lillehammer, Norway.

As this was a rather large-scale competition, the Elwings displayed mild anxiety during the earlier games, but managed to hold on to their confidence. When their first end, or round, resulted in a loss, Michael said, “Tonight we played the best team here and we took him to the last shot … he made his shot but we are going into tomorrow with a positive mindset and we are looking to win both of [our games] tomorrow.”

Placing third against teams from across the nation, Team Elwing was unfortunately unable to compete at Lillehammer this year. However, the Elwings’ enthusiasm remains unfazed by the results of their recent competition.

“Even though I was disappointed because we were so close to winning, I’m proud of our team for coming this far and doing the best we could,” Ryan stated. “About a year ago [my friend] said something that I’ll never forget: ‘I never lose, I either win or I learn,’ and I’ve lived by that motto ever since,” he added.

Meanwhile, their competitive junior men’s team will continue to train and compete in various weekend “bonspiels”, or games. Their next big competition is the state play downs in Portage, from December 27th to the 30th. “In previous years, we have tied for third and placed third,” Michael said. “This was quite an accomplishment for our junior team as we were the youngest team there (junior competitions go up to age 21). This year, we are going in as the second ranked team, and will hopefully take home the trophy.”

As members of a long-time curling family, the Elwings clearly share a distinct excitement about their sport. As Michael put it, “I love it – Not only is it one of the coolest sports on Earth, it makes the dreary, dark, cold winter go by much faster.” Ryan added, “most people I talk to either don’t know what curling is, or they say ‘it’s not an actual sport’ – which isn’t true. It is referred to as ‘chess on ice’ because it incorporates both technical and strategically elements. Curling is an interesting sport, and I can never explain with words how it keeps me coming back for more.”

Here’s a link to a recording of the livestream of Team Elwing’s final game. Warning: it’s three hours long.

Dec15_ElwingCurling6_FeaturesRyan Elwing