JAY-K Lumber president Dean Kelly traded wood for stones last month when he volunteered as a curling results supervisor for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Dean and his brother Jonas are third-generation owners of the family-owned lumberyard in New Hartford, N.Y.
Kelly, an avid curler in his free time, has volunteered in every Winter Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002. “I make sure at the end of the game that the score is accurate. During the game, I check that the statisticians are recording what they’re supposed to record,” says Kelly.
Curling involves teams pushing heavy polished granite stones across the ice toward a circular target marked on the ice. Kelly started playing the game with his best friend. “I tried it when I was 13. I was very good at it and have played ever since,” he says.
As the results supervisor, Kelly determines scoring accuracy during the game. Once a match ends, he certifies that the game’s scorekeeping was legitimate.
How’d the U.S. curling teams do this year? Not great. Both the men’s team and the women’s team fell from the standings after being bumped early on in the competition by the Canadians.
Despite this year’s disappointment, there’s still hope for Kelly to witness a gold medal performance by a U.S. team: He might volunteer to participate in the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.