Members from a German documentary film crew visiting from New York spent their final night in Inuvik drinking beer and throwing rocks at the town’s Curling Club on March 22.
The team from the New York bureau of Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), a German public service broadcaster, spent 10 days in Inuvik creating a reportage of life in the North. They explored Inuvik’s Muslim community, and also looked at permafrost research being conducted in the area.
For Johannes Hano, the team’s lead correspondent, it was the first time he had ever played curling. Luckily, he had the help of Grant Hood, an avid curler who’s also the senior administrative officer at the Town of Inuvik, there to teach him how to play.
“I showed him how to throw a rock. He threw two rocks,” Hood said. “He did very well for someone who has never thrown before. He had never actually seen the game, maybe once or twice on TV.”
While the first throw resulted in face plant, Hood felt that Hano was ready to play in a real game after seeing him throw a second time.
“He might go back and become a German Olympian,” Hood said.
Hano participated in a four-on-four curling match between Polar Tire and Sheet Faced, where he earned his first official win in a game of curling as a member of Polar Tire.
“In the beginning, when I was taught by Grant, I thought I wouldn’t make it because I always slipped and fell. When he said I was on a team, I said ‘oh my gosh, poor team,’” Hano said. “We won, but with the help of the others. I was not the one who made the difference.”
Grant Convey, a fellow Polar Tire member, said that he was impressed by how well Hano played.
“It was lovely. It’s always nice to have new folks in town wanting to play,” Convey said.
After the match, a sweaty Hano said that curling was a lot more exhausting than he had originally anticipated.
“I had no expectations. It looked very easy, when I watched it on TV,” Hano said. “But actually being on the ice, it’s a completely different story.”
While he initially feared throwing, it eventually grew to become his favourite part of the game, but, he added, he could live without all the sweeping.
“The highlight of the whole thing was bringing the rock right, straight into the centre of the button. This was my highlight,” he said.
He added that he plans to continue to curl once he returns home.
“I have a curling arena close to where I live in New York, I’ll definitely do it again,” he said.
As for his biggest takeaway from the entire night, he said that it was all the nice people that he had played with.
“My team, they didn’t know me but they gave me a chance to try it. It was great fun,” he said.