LI Herald

Date: 2018-02-15

Rockville Centre teenager curls through tough times


By Matthew D'Onofrio

As professional curlers vie for medals in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Rockville Centre’s Zachary Ryan practices and competes in the sport locally, dreaming of one day reaching that stage.

Ryan, 18, stumbled upon curling in eighth grade while on a South Side Middle School trip to Quebec, Canada in 2013. When he returned home, he expressed the new hobby to his mom, who signed him up for the Long Island Curling Club. “I didn’t know Long Island even had a team,” said Ryan, who at the time, was the only member of the club younger than 21. The LICC, which formed in 2008, meets on Saturday nights at the Long Island Sports Hub in Syosset, where they use the hockey ice as a curling sheet.

“‘We all know curling isn’t a real sport,’” Ryan recalled his friends saying when he informed them of his new undertaking. But once they saw him play and gave it a shot themselves, they warmed up to it. Ryan said he believes many others will feel similarly, noting curling’s growing popularity.

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