Xavier faculty member goes for gold


Xavier receptionist Lynn Benkusky-Karpick practices curling at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. Photo Submitted.

Syd Walther, Sports Writer

As the 2018 Winter Olympics began, so did the questions about what exactly the sport of curling entails. Curling is played on ice in either pairs or teams of four. It is a mix of shuffleboard and chess where a team scores by throwing their 38-44 pound stones onto the target, known as the house. The point is earned by the team that is closest to the target’s center, known as the button, after all stones are thrown. The sweeping done by one of the team members brushes away little droplets of water that are sprinkled onto the ice. Each team member throws two stones.

Although many people from the United States have been watching curling from the Pyeongchang Olympics this winter season, the sport has always been in Cedar Rapids’ backyard.

Xavier receptionist, Lynn Benkusky-Karpick, is among these curlers as a member of the Cedar Rapids Curling Club.

“I have always thought that this sport was intriguing whenever I watched it on the Olympics,” Benkusky-Karpick said. “Now that I am going to be an empty-nester soon, I thought it was a good idea to get out there and try it.”

Benkusky-Karpick decided to make this move all on her own, with no friends or family attending the practices with her. She has already made many friends and is beginning to create a name for herself.

“Lynn has gravitated to the sport quickly in both skills and enthusiasm,” teammate Anne York said. “She quickly picked up the etiquette, rules and techniques to allow her to have fun while playing the game. She comes each week ready to get on the ice with a happy, welcoming attitude and makes the game more challenging for those who play against her.”

Although Benkusky-Karpick enjoys nearly everything about the sport, it does come with some downfalls.

“The sport is relatively easy to learn, but hard to be good at,” Benkusky-Karpick said. “It can be really frustrating having to leave practice knowing you cannot work on it outside of the rink.”

Despite its flaws, Benkusky-Karpick is looking forward to being able to get better and trying out her new U.S.A. colored broom.

The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena is hosting their Learn to Curl event on Tuesday, February 27 starting at 7 p.m.

Syd Walther

Sports Writer