National Training Center to host taping of special curling event

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – USA Curling’s National Training Center in Blaine, Minn., will host a made-for-TV international curling event Dec. 4-6.

The eight-team competition titled the U.S. Curling Grand Prix will feature rinks from the U.S., China, Japan, and New Zealand competing at Fogerty Arena, home of the Four Seasons Curling Club. Six episodes from the event will be featured on NBCSN. Further telecast details will be released at a later date.

“On the heels of record viewership for curling during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, hosting the first made-for-TV curling series at our facility is a very exciting venture,” said John Benton, director of curling operations at Fogerty Arena. “Our hope is that the event can showcase our world-class facility and attract even more people to our favorite sport.”

World Curling TV will produce the coverage from Blaine, and Carr-Hughes Productions of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., will package the programs for NBCSN.

“It is amazing to see what can be accomplished when so many different groups work together toward a shared goal and no one cares who gets the credit,” said Rick Patzke, interim CEO for USA Curling. “This event and the ensuing television programs are the culmination of all-out effort and support from NBC, the World Curling Federation and its member nations, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Fogerty Arena and Four Seasons Curling Club, USA Curling staff and national team program athletes and coaches, and the other competing nations. The benefits from this are exponential to the competing athletes as well as curling clubs around the country seizing upon the promotional opportunities.”

The competing U.S. teams include rinks led by 2012 national champion Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) and reigning U.S. women’s champion Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.). McCormick’s team features Olympians Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.) and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) along with Colin Hufman (Seattle) and Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.). Roth is teamed up with Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), and Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.). The U.S. teams are coached by Olympians Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago).

Here is a list of the competing teams:

  • China men: Jialiang Zang, Dejia Zou, Dexin Ba, Qiang Zou, Jinbo Wang
  • China women: Sijia Liu, Jinli Liu, Xinna Yu, Rui Wang, Jie Mei
  • Japan men: Yusuke Morozumi, Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, Tetsuro Shimizu, Kosuke Morozumi
  • Japan women: Ayumi Ogasawara, Sayaka Yoshimura, Kaho Onodera, Anna Ohmiya, Yumie Funayama
  • New Zealand: Men’s and women’s teams to be announced
  • USA men: Heath McCormick, Chris Plys, Joe Polo, Colin Hufman, Ryan Brunt, Coach Pete Fenson
  • USA women: Nina Roth, Jamie Sinclair, Becca Hamilton, Tabitha Peterson, Aileen Sormunen, Coach Ann Swisshelm

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, and BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 715-344-1199 (office) or 608-338-9900 (mobile).

In order to estimate numbers of attendees for each game, we are asking that you RSVP using the links below. ADMISSION IS FREE! You are welcome to bring as many guests as you like. We want the stands and viewing areas to be full.

Thank you. We hope to see you there!
Four Seasons Curling Club / Fogerty Arena Staff

John Benton
Director of Curling Operations
Four Season Curling Club | USA Curling National Team
Home of the USA Curling National Training Center
9250 Lincoln St NE, Blaine, Minnesota 55434
W:763-780-3328 C:612-202-4588
jbcurler@gmail.com