Stone Sliders

In February, EWU hosted the USA National Curling Championships.

By Eastern Magazine

Back in February, just weeks before the coronavirus upended athletic competitions across the globe, the EWU Recreation Center for the first time played host to the USA Curling National Championships. The weeklong competition featured the nation’s top men’s and women’s curling sides, each vying for a spot on Team USA and a berth in the World Curling Championships.

Michael Roos 05 of EWU football fame, helped kick off the tournament on Saturday, Feb. 8. Roos ceremoniously started the USA Curling National Championships by sliding the opening “stone,” the smooth-granite orbs that players shepherd down the icy ally, toward the “house,” the 12-foot, circular scoring zone.

Michael Roos curling competition
Michael Roos at the USA Curling National Championships in February.

Though he is most well-known for his football career — Eagle’s All-American, Tennessee Titan All Pro, namesake of EWU’s Roos Field — Roos has more recently teamed up with some of his retired NFL buddies to compete in curling, though, sadly, his team did not qualify for the national championship tournament.

This event took months to plan, much of it coming together in the final weeks. And though curling is a novelty for many sports fans in the region, crowds were big and enthusiastic, especially for the championship weekend.

Eric Sawyer, president and CEO of the Spokane Sports Commission, told the The Spokesman-Review that the event represented an opportunity to both partner with USA Curling and grow the sport in the region.

“We hope [this championship] is going to be the first of many” in the Spokane area, Sawyer said.