Bismarck – The typical curling stone weighs around 42 pounds…but for 10 year old Heidi Holt…throwing a solid granite stone that weighs just a little less than she does was never a challenge.
You see, for Heidi, all she wanted to do was be on the ice, throwing her first rock at age 6.
“I started doing kids curling, and kids curling had these tiny little rocks that we started throwing, but then I started saying I’m going to move on to these big rocks, I did and it was kinda hard at first because since they weighed more than me they got stuck to the ice and I was always falling down” Said Holt.
While most girls her age are being carpooled to soccer practice, gymnastics or even karate…Heidi can be found here…several days a week….at the Capital Curling Club…honing in on her skills, which seem to be natural, and, improving by the week.
Her Mother tells me Heidi has been coached by Paralympian Patrick McDonnell, whose become a role model to Heidi.
“Really she’s made huge progress in just the last year, Arizona and Blaine were huge for her, to come out of there with a focus on changing the slide, changing the way she sweeps, just a lot more accuracy”. Said Erin Holt, Heidi’s Mother.
Heidi’s talents have already caught the eye of several curling organizations, which have allowed her to participate in certain development camps across the country she’s technically too young to be allowed in. It seems they recognize the talent, and recognize the dream, that could make Heidi a nationally known curler one day.
“It catches some people off guard, especially when we travel, you know, it’s, to go out on the ice and play adult teams and show up and be this tiny person, but then she can get down in her slide and she means business, so it does catch some people off guard.” Said Erin Holt
While she may be intense during play, at heart, she’s still your typical 4th grader, laughing and joking while on the ice. She tells me curling is a sport everyone should play…
“I would say they should try curling because you can meet a lot of nice people, there’s like, I’ve never seen anybody be like, Dang!, I’ve always seen them be like, Good game!”. Said Heidi Holt
The walls of the Capital Curling Club are lined with the names of past champions, both young and old…male and female, and while Heidi Holt’s name isn’t on one of these banners yet, you can bet it won’t be long before it is.