By: Jake Kring-Schreifels Staff Writer
We’re just one year away from the 2018 Winter Olympics, which means Redskins tight end Vernon Davis is just one year away from traveling to South Korea.
That’s because, since 2010, when the Olympics were held in Vancouver, Davis was named an honorary captain for Team USA Curling, serving as more of brand ambassador to help promote the sport and gain curling more exposure within the United States.
“I love the sport of curling because it’s just you and the stone and the broom,” Davis told ABC News and ESPN’s The Undefeated in a video interview. “You have to have a still mind, a calm mind. Just like anything else, like when it comes to football. The mindset has to be still.”
Davis, who also attended the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, found out about the sport when a San Francisco beat reporter suggested he give curling a try in the offseason more than seven years ago.
“I was like, ‘Curling? What is that?’ ” Davis said. “[The reporter] was like, ‘Just come on out, you’ll love it, you’ll love it.’ So I went out on the ice and I was probably on the ice for maybe an hour and a half, and I fell in love with it.”
Soon enough, Davis was recognized as a ceremonial captain to help give support to the team during the Olympics.
The sport itself requires a balance of forcefulness and finesse, which seems like just the right combination for a tight end, constantly managing strength and athleticism, adjusting between being a receiver and a blocker.
Davis hopes that African-Americans can gravitate towards the sport with more promotion, excitement and accessibility. As an art major in college, and someone who has continued to pursue a talent not usually associated with an athlete, Davis knows the power in having more opportunities to express oneself can have.
“Right now, I feel like a lot of African-Americans don’t really know too much about the game of curling,” he said. “But it can be different … and that can change through promoting.”
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- April 28, 2018