Curling Olympic Trials Underway at Curl Mesabi

The last time Northern Minnesota held a trials was for the men’s and women’s curling team in 1998, but this is the first time a Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials has been held.

EVELETH, Minn. — The US Olympic Trials for Mixed Doubles Curling is going on this week in Eveleth, and teams from all over the US are here vying for a spot on the US National Team as they get ready for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The trials started Tuesday with 10 teams, playing a round robin tournament till Friday, and the top 4 teams head to playoffs through the weekend.

But with so many team members and coaches from Minnesota and surrounding areas, being able to have the trials in Eveleth makes it easier to feel at home, just ask 4 time Olympian John Shuster, who brought the gold back in 2018.

“It’s pretty exciting to be able to compete close to home up the fact that it’s easy for my family to get here and to have a lot of friends and people I know up here watching is pretty special,” John Shuster, Olympic Gold Medalist, said.

But for the whole community, this Olympic appearance is something worth experiencing. The trials were originally supposed to be held in California, but with covid regulations, the venue fell through.
That’s when Phill Drobnic, Team USA Curling Coach and Director of Curl Mesabi stepped in saying “we’re the perfect host”.

“If you just look at it, anytime you have the Olympic rings on the side of a building or the side of an event it means a lot more. The Olympics mean so much to so many people it’s one of the largest sporting events in the entire world, and we have athletes right here competing to go to the Olympics so that’s special,” Drobnick said.

The last time Northern Minnesota held a trials was for the men’s and women’s curling team in 1998, but this is the first time a Mixed Doubles Olympic Trials has been held.

“There’s a lot of great curling up here and there’s rich curling history up in Northern Minnesota so it gives people a greater opportunity to see what that history has kind of lead to see the product that we have now on the ice too,” Shuster said.

And for those who have experienced the games already, it only inspires them more to make a return.

“It’s really exciting and you know everybody’s dream is to get back to the Olympics and do it so it’s kind of the culmination of another 4 year cycle so it’s really there’s been a lot of build up so it’s nice to finally be here and get to it,” Aileen Geving, Duluth Native and Olympian, said.

After the mixed double trials are finalized, all teams will head to Omaha to play in the men’s and women’s Olympic trials, where 6 winners of each will compete for their spot to head to Beijing.

The mixed doubles trials will be going on through the week, culminating in the championship at 7 p.m. on Sunday night.

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