USA Curling announced Monday that Four Seasons Curling Club, part of the Fogerty Arena complex in Blaine, has been chosen to host the first-ever Olympic trials for mixed doubles curling.
The event, which runs Dec. 14-17, will determine the team that will represent the U.S. in mixed doubles at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Mixed doubles will be part of the Olympic program for the first time. Four Seasons is the training base for USA Curling and was designated as an official U.S. Olympic Training Site in 2015.
The Olympic trials for curling were last held in Minnesota in 1998, when they were staged in Duluth.
“It’s a huge honor to have this event at our facility,” said John Benton, a 2010 Olympian and director of curling operations at Four Seasons. “As the U.S. Olympic Training Site for curling already, our staff has been energized, and the local area has been very excited to host our national team for training. Having the opportunity to host a televised event that will produce part of Team USA heading to South Korea next February is obviously a major boost.”
Eight teams, each consisting of one man and one woman, will participate in the trials. Five already have qualified for the trials, and the other three will be announced by Nov. 24.
Three qualified teams feature Minnesotans, including the duo of Tabitha Peterson (Eagan) and Joe Polo (Duluth), who were bronze medalists at the 2016 world championships. The teams of Alex Carlson (St. Paul)/Derrick McLean (Seattle) and Jared Zezel (Hibbing)/Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska) also are in the field.