CHARLOTTE, NC - The Charlotte Curling Association is spreading its sport to wheelchair athletes. This weekend the organization is hosting the 'Rock-n-Roll Mixed Doubles Bonspiel' a competition pairing up teams featuring one able-bodied and one wheelchair curler. The idea came from U.S. Paralympic athlete Patrick McDonald.
"I found out they were going to do a learn-to-curl this weekend," McDonald said. "I thought, hey I got a great idea. Let's turn it into a mixed spiel and get some wheelchairs involved in competition, not just sitting there watching somebody."
The CCA invites anyone in a wheelchair to come by the building and learn a little bit more about the sport.
"I don't think curling is the first thing you think of when you say I'm going to play a sport," said Alanna Flax-Clark, wheelchair athlete. "It's a sport that's really open to people of all ages, all abilities, all genders."
Steve McKee is the president of the CCA, and said one draw of curling is the even playing field it provides for any athlete.
"Friday night we had four able-bodied players against four wheelers, and the wheelers beat them," McKee said. "It's the great equalizer."