Curling’s great leap: winning over Carl Lewis
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Carl Lewis is challenging Vernon Davis to a curling match.
Lewis sprinted onto the curling scene Sunday at the Vancouver Games, though he insists he’s been a fan of the rock-throwing ice sport for years now. The nine-time gold medalist sprinter gave the American men a pep talk before their match with Britain, just as Pro Bowl tight end Davis of the San Francisco 49ers did a day earlier.
“I got ’em fired up and told them they look very youthful compared to the Brits, so put them out to pasture,” said Lewis, a first-time curling spectator.
The 48-year-old Lewis, who captured four Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, is also attending his first Winter Olympics.
Lewis said he always tries to learn about a new sport. At the Beijing Games, it was badminton and table tennis.
“I think a lot of athletes don’t know what’s going on (in these obscure sports) and make fun of it,” said Lewis, who recently started a Web site to encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles for families. “But people love great competition and the Olympics are so easy to get caught up in.
“At the end of the day, it’s not like any other team sport. You make a mistake, and you’re done for the rest of your life. In baseball, you make a mistake and you have Game 7. You’ve got to be perfect and perform.”
Lewis better get out on the ice if he’s going to beat Davis, who is ahead in this matchup considering he’s already curled a couple of times.
“I’d love to play,” he said. “I’ll take on Vernon.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.