Typically reserved for hockey and ice skating, Oakland Ice Center’s NHL-sized rink was flooded with participants in the California curling playdown this past Saturday afternoon.
The six teams in contention—two women’s squads going head-to-head, and four men’s teams playing a round-robin style playoff—competed for the lone slots to the annual Pacific International Cup (PIC) tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Canadian tournament is considered by many to be the step before national-level competition on the way to Olympic qualification.
A September announcement by UC Berkeley to cancel four sports and demote a fifth following this season resulted in fans rallying to save three of the programs in February. But the battle between the school and some ardent sports supporters to save the other two, namely the more than century old baseball team, persists.
After closing in March 2007, a small but passionate group of die-hard skating enthusiasts has continued to fight to save Berkeley Iceland. Now, five years later, the battle to restore the 71-year-old building to its original purpose may be over with San Francisco-based sporting goods retailer, Sports Basement, attempting to move in.