By Adam Stewart
We spent part of our afternoon with U.S. Olympic Curling team member Chris Plys, a 22-year-old first-time Olympian who has been put in the spotlight over the last year in a sport that is pretty foreign to most people in the United States. We took Chris to the center of the Olympic madness, smack in the middle of downtown’s Robson Square. Chris told us the entire story of how he managed to arrive in Vancouver as an Olympic athlete. He started curling 10 years ago, and it has been his life ever since. Competing in the Curling World Championships and traveling around the world is certainly a far cry from his roots in chilly Duluth, Minnesota.
Chris told me that curling is one of those sports where you really need to stay focused for a long time. Unlike other events that give you two or three runs down a slope over a day or two, his event lasts over a span of nine days, which tests the nerves and anxieties of every athlete for an extended period of time. Focus is key.
So how does he unwind from that relentless stress? On this day, he played the guitar and sang his original music in the center of Robson Square to a crowd of adoring female fans. Our impromptu public concert drew a crowd of onlookers asking “Who is he?” and “What does he do?”
Attention Chris: This may be your big break! This kid pretty much has the makings of a mainstream heartthrob. Olympic Athlete and a musician? That’s a pretty lethal combination in my opinion. Enjoy your time in Vancouver, Chris.