CURLING: 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling begin Sunday in Fargo
Terry Kolesar
(715) 344-1199 ext. 202
November 04, 2013 11:28 AM
Nov. 4, 2013
2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling begin Sunday in Fargo
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling get underway Sunday at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D.
Four women's and five men's teams are scheduled to compete in the weeklong event.
The women's berth for the 2014 Games has been secured, whereas the men's berth will need to be earned in December at the final Olympic Qualification Event, Dec. 10-15, in Füssen, Germany.
The 2014 Olympic Team Trials field is highlighted with Olympians, national champions, and world champions vying to be a part of Team USA. On the women's side, all four skips have previous Olympic experience. 2013 national champion and 1998 Olympian Erika Brown, 40, leads Team Brown, which also features curling's only three-time Olympian - Debbie McCormick (2010, 2002, 1998). McCormick's 2010 Olympic teammate Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.) has led her team to an impressive season so far at World Curling Tour events with an event title win in late October. 2006 Olympians Cassie Potter and Courtney George (both of St. Paul, Minn.) round out the women's field.
On the men's side, two-time Olympian and 2006 Olympic bronze medalist John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) looks for a three-peat as he leads his young team in Fargo. 2013 national champion Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) has competed in seven World Curling Tour events in preparation for the Trials. 2010 Trials runner-up Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.) is hoping that 2013 will be his year to reach the top of the podium. His team includes 2010 Olympian Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), throwing last rocks. 2012 national champion Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) is playing in his first U.S. Olympic Trials competition. Born in Lansing, Mich., McCormick has competed the majority of his career in Canada but has made the playoffs in each U.S. national championship he's competed in since 2011. 2006 Olympic bronze medalist and seven-time U.S. champion Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) rounds out the men's teams. 
NBC Sports Network is slated to air up to 15 hours of live action from the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling in Fargo in November. 2010 Olympian John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) will be a member of the on-air talent for the NBCSN broadcast.
"It is with significant interest and support from both NBC and the U.S. Olympic Committee that curling fans around the nation will be able to watch the drama of the Olympic Trials unfold on national television," said Rick Patzke, USA Curling chief operating officer. "We are certainly blessed by this. Likewise, with the cooperation of these two entities and the support of USA Curling, we are excited that fans around the world will be able to follow the action on the Internet through our partnership with TESN. If you can't be in Fargo in person, these two outlets will be the next best thing."
In addition, the 12th End Sports Network's Joe Calabrese and Brian Anderson will partner with USA Curling and the United States Olympic Committee to stream the action live leading up to the playoffs. Cameras will be placed on three sheets of ice to increase the ability to show more game highlights. A feature game will be shown per draw throughout the round robin.
"TESN is proud to be a part of the live webstreaming of the U.S. Olympic Team Curling Trials," said Joe Calabrese of TESN. "Every step we've taken as a company has been done in order to showcase the talents and abilities of these special athletes. Working with the USCA to bring this event to the curling community is a special privilege.  We can't wait to get to Fargo." A link to the live webstream will be located at
A complete game schedule and media accreditation form can be downloaded at (click on the Olympic Trials logo).
Here is a look at the teams competing in the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials for Curling:

Team Clark: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Philip Tilker (Seattle), Darren Lehto (Seattle), Greg Persinger (Anchorage, Alaska)
Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.)
Team George: Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen (Minneapolis, Minn.), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.)
Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Bill Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Dean Gemmell (Short Hills, N.J.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.)
Team Shuster: John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)

Team Brown: Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago)
Team George: Courtney George (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), Amanda McLean (St. Paul, Minn.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Jordan Moulton (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Team Potter: Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.), Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Stephanie Sambor (St. Paul, Minn.)
Team Pottinger: Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)
Winning teams will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
Visit the USA Curling website at and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell)

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