BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — As of Thursday, curling is now the official state sport of North Dakota.
“Today is extra special because we talk a lot about the youth of our state are our future. I like to say they are future leaders, well today they are our current leaders,” said Governor Doug Burgum.
Alaina Schmit, just a sixth grader from Horizon Middle School was the one who brought the idea forward.
“When I found out North Dakota didn’t have a state sport, I made it my goal to make one. And it’s really exciting to see it all come together,” said Schmit.
Alaina didn’t realize how difficult it might be to get the bill to Governor Doug Burgum’s desk. Luckily Senator Sean Cleary listened to the passion of this 11-year-old girl.
“I’d like to thank Senator Cleary for a simple but powerful act, listening to a constituent about something they are passionate about. Helping them through the process,” said Ben Sand, the Capital Curling Club president.
And as for Senator Cleary has a special connection with the sport.
“I came to this club curling with my dad, so it’s great to be back. That’s also why I relate to this bill. It’s a great sport. Families can play for their whole life,” said Sen. Cleary.
The passion and love for this sport were clear at the VFW Sports Center as many say it’s fitting for North Dakota to name curling the state sport.
“That spirit of curling manifests itself on the ice. We shake happens with our opponents before and after a match. It’s a code of conduct that we hold ourselves too,” said Sand.
Although there are a lot of bills going through this legislative session, the Governor said this was hands-down the easiest for his pen to slide down that dotted line.
“In part because there are just 13 words. State sport: ‘Curling is the official sport of the State of North Dakota,’ that’s the whole bill. We like that cut through the red tape, get it done. I wish all the bills were that straightforward,” said Gov. Burgum.