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Curling Drifts to the East, The place Rock Stars Are Being Born

“There’s a whole lot of systematic issues in Canada which have made it powerful for folks to proceed,” Mr. Lind mentioned. He mentioned there was an absence of funding and no substantial plan to develop the subsequent technology of curlers.

When Mr. Lind arrived in Japan in 2013, Group Fujisawa had gained no medals and lacked worldwide expertise. He mentioned the largest cultural distinction was seeing how the crew performed versus how he had realized the sport at house.

In Alberta, he mentioned, curlers realized by enjoying video games. However in Japan, they might hone their technical expertise by, for instance, sliding by way of cones 100 instances. “Even simply to get them to play like a enjoyable sport in opposition to one another, they’re at all times sort of slightly apprehensive,” Mr. Lind mentioned. “They’re like: ‘No, we simply need to follow.’”

The crew is known as after the skip, 30-year-old Satsuki Fujisawa, and is made up of 5 girls, together with two sisters. Three of them come from the northern city of Tokoro, extensively thought-about the birthplace of the game in Japan.

Curling got here to Japan in 1980 after Yuji Oguri, a resident of Tokoro, participated in a workshop with curlers from Alberta.

Mr. Oguri and his buddies later started crafting stones from two-liter beer kegs and fashioning their very own curling sneakers, sticking sheets of plywood and leather-based to their boots. They created their rinks, stamping on snow to flatten out the floor and periodically sprinkling water to maintain it frozen.

“It was powerful work, however enjoyable in a approach, trying again on it now,” mentioned Shinobu Fujiyoshi, 76, a retired farmer who’s the oldest roller on his present crew. “There was no amusement or place to go in winter, but it surely was a spot we might get collectively.”

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