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Xero Gravity: Hans Frauenlob – Curl runnings

Posted 3 years ago in Xero Gravity by Ludmila Buqeileh

Meet Hans Frauenlob, an Olympic curler, who helped bring curling to New Zealand at a time when it wasn’t even considered a full medal sport. But, that’s only part of his fascinating story.

Hans’s life has been full of changes, pivots, and many different career paths. From being scouted for professional baseball in high school, then spending a year working as a professional musician. Then back to baseball, only this time working in the tech space and more recently co-founding the employee benefits platform, Belong. He’s sharing all, on this episode of Xero Gravity!

When Hans started representing the New Zealand curling team in 1997, it was just a four man team. It became a full medal sport in the Olympics just a year later – gaining momentum in viewership since. After finally deciding to put down his curling stones, Hans made the transition to commentating the sport on television.

He’s even set to work the 2018 winter Olympics in Korea. “What’s fun for me is helping people who’re watching a game for the first time translate the jargon. I also like slipping the odd Kiwi-isms into a broadcast,” says Hans. “Sometimes we’ll have a word of the day, and you have to figure out how you’ll work that word of the day into the broadcast.”

xero gravity podcast 97: curl runnings

A self-proclaimed problem solver, Hans led the way in using technology for sports analysis when he worked for the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 90’s. At the time, the team’s intellectual property sat inside a three-ring binder. Hans knew there was a better way.

“The coach did all of the defensive charting and placements on paper with colored pencils. That was the system. He had a page for every player and every pitcher. I told the baseball guys that I could write an application that would record the pitch and chart where it was hit. They let me have a go at writing it and I did. It brought technological analysis into the sporting arena, which is commonplace now, but at the time nobody was doing it.”

Tune in to hear more from Hans on Xero Gravity #97. He’s sharing his younger years being scouted for baseball and why he ultimately didn’t join the major league. Plus, you won’t want to miss the best piece of advice he’s received and where sheep farming fits into the story!


  • Belong – employee benefits platform

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.

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