Curling tradition runs deep in Triumph, Illinois

By WEEK Producer

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 10:50 PM CDT

TRIUMPH, Ill. -- In a town called Triumph tradition runs deep.

130 years ago men with brooms and large stones gathered over a frozen pond to compete in a game of strategy and skill.

Alan Wilson can trace his bloodline back to the start of the Waltham Curling Club in 1884. Scotsman John Curie founded the club during a visit, leaving behind a medal members would compete for each year.

"We're still playing for it,” Wilson said. “So it worked like a charm."

Today the club carries on with more than 100 members from all different backgrounds.

"We've got guys that are farmers, businessmen, old to young,” said Club Board Member Chris Brown.

Every four years, a little more light shines on the small town of Triumph.

"As I sat there and watched it in the Olympics, it was one of those things were you say I think I could do that,” said Bloomington Resident Andrew Matthews.

Matthews isn't the only one. The club usually sees an influx of around 30 members when the Winter Olympics come rolling around.

"At first I thought it was kind of silly but the more I play, I think it's just awesome,” said LaSalle Resident Tara Keeling.

The game itself is comparable to shuffleboard. The object is to get your stones closest to the center of the target.

And members will tell you, that's harder than it looks.

"It's a ton of strategy,” Brown said. "Moe of a workout than you think"

"I run, I train for triathlons and still when I go curling, I wear myself out,” Matthews said.

The game turns 130 years old in Triumph, Illinois this year. It’s a tradition Alan Wilson hopes younger generations will continue for years to come.

"My niece's kids are playing now. They just started this year,” he said.

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