Road to the Olympics: Watchmaker Turned Curling Athlete

SPRINGDALE, Ark. - Every second...every minute...every hour, time is typical. But for the clock, it can be as unique as it's maker.

"I was really proud the first time it actually started ticking," says Dominik Maerki, Olympic hopeful.

He was born and grew up in Switzerland. He went to school for four years to make watches and clocks.

"Right after school, I started working at Omega," he says.

He was transferred to the U.S. and met his wife. They moved to Arkansas...but let's add another unique layer to a clockmaking Swiss in the south...in Switzerland, Dominik's sport of choice was curling. 

"I believe it was 5 or 6 years old, my dad he played curling," Dominik says.

He was good enough to play for his national team as a teen but had given up that world class competition until he got a call.

"'Do you wanna play with us', and I was really surprised, couldn't believe it at first," he continues.

The Swiss team needed an Olympic player...so he found a rink and started practicing in Northwest Arkansas. 

"I'll be ready in February to go to South Korea and play for Switzerland," he says.

"Growing up did you think you would be a watchmaking curler?," he's asked. "No, definitely not," Dominik responds.

It may wait for no man, but this watchmaker got a chance to turn back time for a golden opportunity. 

"It was my dream to go to the Olympics," he says.

Dominik is competing with Switzerland in the European Championships and if all goes well, he will likely be heading to the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

In this exclusive web extra below, Dominik talks to reporter Aaron Nolan about explaining his sport to Americans.


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