STEVENS POINT, Wis. — The U.S. men’s and women’s curling teams in line to be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in February recently completed the seventh summer training camp and will now begin the competitive portion of their high performance training schedule as the teams travel to Switzerland.
Teams led by John Shuster and Debbie McCormick trained extensively this summer at six camps at the Green Bay (Wis.) Curling Club, USA Curling’s training center for the Olympic and Paralympic nominees, as well as one camp in Park City, Utah. The 2010 Paraympic team nominees, led by Augusto Perez, are currently at a high performance camp in Green Bay for the team’s final camp and have competed in summer curling events already.
The summer training camps, which typically spanned four days, focused on conditioning, mental skills training, strategy tactics and improving curling skills.
In Switzerland beginning this weekend, Shuster and teammates Jason Smith, Jeff Isaacson, John Benton, Chris Plys and Coach Phill Drobnick will compete against the top men’s and women’s Swiss teams, including 2006 Olympic silver medalist Mirjam Ott and multiple worlds and Olympic competitor Ralph Stoeckli. The U.S. women’s team of McCormick, Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad, Natalie Nicholson, Tracy Sachtjen and Coach Wally Henry will face similar competition.
After returning from the training and competition in Zurich, the U.S. teams will begin competitive schedules with events on the World Curling Tour. They’ll return to Green Bay in December for at least one more preparatory camp prior to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Feb. 12-28.
The Paralympic team nominees competed this summer at the Cape Cod summer bonspiel against able-bodied curling teams and fared well. They’ll continue their competitive training schedule with competitions in Norway, Scotland and Canada over the next few months. Team members include Perez, James Pierce, James Joseph, Jacquelyn Kapinowski, Patrick McDonald and Coach Steve Brown.