Eventually, he curled up to it

After 30+ years of curling, Craig Brown is still excited about competing at the highest level of his chosen sport. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, he wasn’t always a fan even though he comes from what is unofficially the “First Family of U.S. Curling.” But after his initial dislike of the game, he realized there was a lot to it and that he could travel the world as a competitor. “There isn’t another sport in the world that could have taken me around the globe the way curling has,” he says. “In the last 12 years, I’ve been overseas 20-some times.”

Craig is his team’s “skip,” basically the captain, who provides the team’s strategic direction and is responsible for many of its critical shots. As an alternate for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Craig got in some ice time in the final game. As for fitness, stretching to handle the deep lunges required by the sport is key, advises Craig, as is building core strength to throw the 40+ lb. stones. And for the sweepers, who vigorously brush the ice ahead of the stone to help determine its speed and direction, arm strength and aerobic exercise are critical.

So what would Craig like the world to know about curling? “It’s harder than it looks; there’s more strategy involved than any other sport I’ve ever played. But if you stay fit, the game can be enjoyed by anyone from 9 to 90.”

  • Sochi Winter Games: 2014 (9th)
  • U.S. National Championships: 2015, 2014 (2nd), 2013 (7th), 2012 (4th), 2011, 2010 (5th),
  • 2009 (bronze), 2008 (champion), 2007 (4th), 2006 (6th), 2005 (silver), 2004 (semifinalist),
  • 2002 (semifinalist), 2001 (runner-up), 2000 (champion), 1997 (3rd), 1996 (3rd), 1994 (3rd)
  • Men’s Worlds: 2012 (8th as alternate), 2008 (7th), 2000 (4th)
  • U.S. Winter Games Trials — Curling: 2014 (4th), 2010 (bronze), 2006 (silver), 2002 (silver)
  • U.S. Junior Men’s Nationals: 1997, ’95 and ’94 (champion); 1992 (semifinalist),
  • 1990 (runner-up); 1991 (alternate player)
  • Junior Worlds: 1997 (9th), ’95 (5th), ’94 (bronze medalist), ’92 (alternate player)
  • U.S. Mixed Nationals: 2000 and 1998 (champion both years)
  • World Challenge Round: 1994 (champion)
  • World Junior Curling Championships All-Star Vice Skip: 1994
  • U.S. Curling Association Male Athlete of the Year: 2000
  • Continental Cup: 2008 (runner-up)

“Good health isn’t something you can take for granted. Like sport, you’ve got to work at it every day.