Curling: Games coverage inspires Latvians

Ansis Regza slips on the ice during the Winter Games curling at the Maniototo International Curling Rink, in Naseby, yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Ansis Regza slips on the ice during the Winter Games curling at the Maniototo International Curling Rink, in Naseby, yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Ansis Regza took a nasty tumble on the ice yesterday.

He was following up his stone at the Winter Games curling at the Maniototo International Curling Rink when the mishap happened.

Regza was close to the house when he fell flat on his back and his feet shot into the air. He clung tenaciously to his broom to lessen the impact of his fall.

Falling on the ice can be common with beginners but is rare in international curling.

Regza became excited as his stone approached the house and he willed it into the inner circle.

Regza (48) was playing against the New Zealand pair of Sean and Bridget Becker in the mixed doubles with his wife Dace (49). New Zealand won 8-5.

The Latvian couple own a small construction business at the Latvian capital of Riga.

They started curling eight years ago.

"I watched the sport on television from the Olympic Games and decided to have a go," Regza said.

"It is an interesting game and you never know the result until after the last stone."

The sport has become a family affair with his wife and third daughter Evita (28) competing for the Latvian women's team at the European championships in Switzerland last year. Their youngest daughter Anete (25) also plays the sport.

Curling is a minor sport in Latvia with only 150 players.

Regza and his wife played in the world championship doubles in Russia last year.