Curling is poised for a return to northern Maine

February 20, 2022 GMT

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (AP) — The cold weather sport of curling could be returning to northern Maine after a decadeslong hiatus.

The Presque Isle Recreation and Parks Department is working to revive sport that ceased in the 1980s, the Bangor Daily News reported last week.

If so, it would be only the third curling group in the state. Maine’s other established groups are the Belfast Curling Club and the Portland-based Pine Tree Curling Club.

“We’re in a locale — northern Maine and on the Canadian border — where we feel people know about curling but haven’t had the opportunity to do it due to lack of facilities. We just want to be able to represent the game,” said Andrew Perry, recreation and parks program director.

Curling is a 500-year-old sport in which teams take turns sliding rocks down a sheet of ice toward a scoring area. Players furiously sweep the ice along the way to help speed up the stone or curl it around an opponent’s stone on its way to the target.

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The sport is enjoying a resurgence in interest since it returned to the Olympic Winter Games in 2002.

The Presque Isle Curling Club played at the city’s indoor skating rink in the 1960s — until a roof collapse destroyed the rink. It later continued at a smaller rink at the site and then at The Forum.

The club’s activities ended in the late 1980s because the cost of upkeep and running the club exceeded the revenue from membership, said said Kimberly Smith of the Presque Isle Historical Society.