Greg Eigner has always lived in cold climates.
He grew up in London, Ontario, then moved to St. Paul, Minn., before settling in at Fort Wayne, where he is a facility member with Fort Wayne Medical Education Program, which trains new family doctors.
Because of the environments Eigner has lived in, he was locked out of his one-time favorite sport, golf, for large portions of the year.
That is until a friend in London introduced curling to Eigner when he was in his late 20s.
It was a great bridge between playing golf in the summer, the 50-year-old Eigner said. It was good exercise, and it was something interesting to do when it wasnt golf season.
Eigners bridge sport eventually turned into an activity he loves and continues to do today on a limited basis because of the time constraints of his job and lack of nearby curling clubs.
Eigner, who moved to Fort Wayne in 2002, mainly plays in tournaments, and he is a member of a club in Kalamazoo.
But he is unable to get to Kalamazoos Wings Stadium, home of the ECHLs K-Wings, often because of his schedule.
They have a regular league up there that runs on Friday night, and that is a hard night for me to get up there, Eigner said. Ive maintained a membership there because you need a membership at a club to compete. Ive been up there a couple times helping out with clinics.
The curling clinics will likely see an influx of participants this month, as the Winter Olympics start in Vancouver on Friday.
Eigner, who was a member of a team that finished seventh out of 10 finalists to represent the United States in the 2006 Olympics, said the sport often gets a boost after being on TV every four years.
Watching it through the Olympics it may seem like a strange game and you wont know all the rules, Eigner said. You catch on by watching it.
If after the Olympics people want to see high-quality curling live, they can go to Wings Stadium to watch the USA Curling Nationals from March 3 to 13.
And once you catch on to the sport, it is hard to give. At least it is for Eigner.
Eigner likes to be the teams skip, which is the player who throws his stones or rocks last for a four-person team, which alternates two shots apiece.
The skip also directs the teams strategy during a game deciding the best place to throw stones to end up closest to the middle of the scoring circle to secure a point. Eigner compares curling to golf and chess because of the strategies involved in the game.
I really enjoy the strategy, trying to figure out the best way to determine how you are going to score on an end, Eigner said.
Eigner said he misses the ability to participate in curling more often since moving to Fort Wayne.
I really miss playing, Eigner said. The people that you get to know along the way going to various events are friendships that you develop and maintain. Im still friends with people I met curling after more than 20 years in this sport.