CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – The Olympic sport of curling came to eastern Iowa to fund-raise for the United Way and an opening to the curling season.
150 curlers and 22 teams from 15 different states came for the weekend in Cedar Rapids for United Way’s Sweep For Change and the Cedar Rapids Curling Club Sixth Annual CedarSpiel.
Kari Kozak an organizer for the weekend events says this sport gives a sense of family.
“All around from the U.S. people are coming here,” says Kozak. “Seeing old friends, meeting new friends and getting a chance to socialize, and learn new things. I love it to death, I get to see what’s going on and see what’s happening.”
Friday’s United Way fundraiser event kicked off the weekend, raising an estimated $5,000 dollars. Area companies donated and learned to curl themselves, some even stayed to compete for the weekend.
“One person who was actually with the United Way event actually landed a spot on a team opening,” says Kozak. “He actually joined us for the weekend.”
Those that compete this weekend were in good company. Four-Time Olympian and former World Champion Debbie McCormick also competed on the ice.
“It’s just a great way to compete still, meet people, have some fun,” says McCormick. “Cedar Rapids is a great city, it’s really fun here so I really enjoy coming here every year.”
Within the same week of the events, Cedar Rapids was picked as the location of the 2021 Curling National Championships.
“It has a lot to do with the Olympics,” says McCormick. “The teams then go to the World Championships depending on how well they do. Our country earns point so our country will be at the Olympics. It’s a huge deal and I’m super excited, I’m definitely going to be here, I can’t wait.”