Brazilians in Vancouver find passion for curling
In Brazil, soccer is known as o jogo bonito, the beautiful game.
But three Brazilians living in Vancouver have discovered the beauty of a very different sport: curling.
Marcio Rodrigues, Raphael Monticello and Marcio Cerquinho have taken up curling since moving to Canada.
In a way, it’s part of Vancouver’s Olympic legacy.
Rodrigues says he first saw the sport in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Monticello watched the Olympic curling tournament back in Brazil and took up the sport when he moved here.
“When I came here, it was one of my plans to get more engaged with Canadian culture,” Monticello said. “I thought, I want to do this when I get there.”
Cerquinho took up the sport after suffering a soccer injury. He says people back home don’t know what to make of his newfound passion.
“When I say to my friends I’m doing curling, they say, ‘Oh, interesting, exciting. What is that?'”
“In Brazil, we save our ice for our drinks,” Rodrigues added.
Indeed, they are a rare breed. They estimate there are a total of about 50 Brazilian curlers. They teach the sport to Brazilians at the Vancouver Curling Club on weekends in the hopes of helping the sport grow.
They admit their chances of competing in the Winter Olympics are slim to none, but they are training a youth team that will represent Brazil at the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games, which take place next month in Lillehammer, Norway.
They are also part of the Brazilian Confederation of Ice Sports and hope to one day set up a curling rink in the south of Brazil.
The trio has also received support from local curlers.
“They really embraced us,” Rodrigues said. “They love having us with them. We are really grateful to the Canadians for accepting us in this community.”
– With files from Squire Barnes
© 2016 Shaw Media