HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Not many people can claim they’ve won a gold medal in their lifetime, but Hastings resident Martin Sather did just that at the 2012 USA Curling National Championships.
“There’s a lot of tough teams coming out of the United States now, so it was going to be a grind, but we liked our chances, played well all week and the rest is history,” he said.
Sather played in the curling championships in Aston, Pa., alongside teammates Skip Heath McCormick, Bill Stopera and Dean Gemmell in the eight-day tournament earlier this month.
Sather originally hails from Fairbanks, Alaska, where he said curling is a popular sport among the locals, which helped him learn the game.
“I’m a third generation curler, my grandparents curled, my parents curled so I naturally kind of got into it,” he said.
Although Sather has had to explain the rules of the game to friends, he’s been honing his craft at the Ardsley Curling Club over the years. To get more competitive practice in though, Sather and his team headed up to Canada to play in various tournaments.
“We played against pretty much the toughest teams in Ontario,” he said. “One of the tournaments we actually ended up playing against some of the top teams in the world so we had a lot of good games.”
Even as a gold medal winner Sather jokes that his friends still see him as the same guy they’ve come to know since he moved to Hastings in 2009.
“I think that’s one of the things that I’ve identified with some of my friends that I’ve come to know here on the east coast,” he said. “I’m the guy from Alaska that curls.”
With the victory, Sather and his team qualified for the 2014 Olympic trials, but they won’t be able to relax just yet as they’re headed to the 2012 World Men’s Championship from March 31 to April 8 in Basel, Switzerland.