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Champion Curlers Headed to Korea

By: Chris Herzog
By: Chris Herzog

Many college student athletes spend their time throwing a football or bouncing a basketball.
But two women here in Eau Claire are now considered champions, on the ice...And we're not talking about hockey.
The sport of curling has been around since the 16th century. But only recently did it make it back into the Winter Olympics.
And that's exactly where two students could be headed, after being crowned national champions.
If there was a kind of music to go perfectly with curling, these champions say it would probably be classical.
Megan O'Connell says, "It's nice to be able to concentrate on one thing and just whatever else is going on in your life, doesn't matter. It's just all about beating that other team, and doing the best you can at your sport."
That's exactly what Megan O'Connell and Jaclyn Mueller are doing.
In a matter of years, the two have gone from little kids sliding the rock across the ice for fun.
To competing at a national level.
"You get out there and you just do what you've trained your body to do...What you've done a million times.", Mueller commented.
This year the two beat seven teams to become the women's junior national curling champions.
"It was a big rush when we won the final game", O'Connell said.
And in a few weeks, they'll be competing on the world stage.
The sport of curling is nothing new, in fact experts say the first curling club in the united states got its start back in 1832, 174 years ago. But despite the tradition of this winter pastime, these ladies say they're looking to make a little history of their own.
And this is their first step to grabbing the gold medal in the future, a lot of practice.
But these athletes hope you remember curling isn't just a hobby.
In a way, they say, it's a slippery doorway to the future.
"I know for Jackie and I both, the goal is eventually the olympics.", O'Connell says.
"Now we are considered world class athletes, and yes, it is more than a game to us now. For Megan and I, it's probably become our life.", Mueller says.
Megan and Jaclyn will head to South Korea next month to compete against the best curling teams in the world.
And hopefully, a spot on the 2010 olympic team.


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