Curlers are as close as it comes to becoming professional athletes these days, with primetime TV appearances, bright lights, life in the air, and staying in hotels for about half the year. aside from the cash.
But as the season lengthens and teams strive to become more elite than ever before, the lure of money is what is keeping curlers on the road for longer than ever.
Gushue estimates that it costs his team more than $150,000 to travel from bonspiel to bonspiel throughout the course of the season.
It’s approximately the same for them, according to Jennifer Jones and her colleagues. not cheap.
Gushue claimed that it was expensive for us to compete. Although most Canadian teams have some other means of support, it would be good to see this become a full-time professional sport.
This week, Gushue and some of the best curlers in the world are in Toronto to compete for the biggest prize in the sport: $300,000.
The winners of the men’s and women’s divisions of the Grand Slam Tour Players’ Championship will receive $30,000 each.
What is Curling?
In the ice-based team sport of curling, two teams alternate sliding granite stones in the direction of a goal known as a House.
It is a winter Olympic and Paralympic sport that features medal divisions for mixed wheelchair teams, men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles teams.
The mixed doubles version of the sport features teams of two players, one male and one female, as opposed to the traditional curling teams of four players.
Teams in wheelchair curling, women’s curling, and men’s curling may also contain a fifth player, known as the Alternate. Each team elects a Skip and Vice-Skip to serve as team captains.
The skip’s job is to direct the team’s play, and you can find them standing in the house at the scoring end of the score sheet.
When the skip is delivering the team’s stones, the vice-skip assumes the skip’s responsibilities.
In team curling, each player alternates with an opponent while delivering two stones in a row in each End, or round.
At World Curling competitions, each team uses a set of eight stones that all have the same handle color—red or yellow.
They are professionals who earn relatively little. The majority work other jobs full time and only take time off during curling season.
Most people have sponsors who assist pay for airfare and other expenses.
In terms of prize money, the top-ranked team in the 2015–16 season (Rachel Homan’s Woman’s team according to the World Curling Tour) has earned just under $157,000 as of this writing.
Aand since Worlds doesn’t pay anything and the big money events are over, these numbers aren’t likely to change significantly.
When you consider that is the *entire team’s* take, it doesn’t sound like awful money, so divide that by 4 to get an approximate total of $39,000.
Additional opportunities exist, but even those aren’t very lucrative. Most “professional” curlers—if not all—have “real” professions that support their families.