In her own words: "I started curling at the age of 10, when my mom and dad needed some peace on Sunday afternoons during the winter. My brother and I were enrolled in the Junior Curling Program at Exmoor Country Club. Except for a brief time out for college, I have played ever since.
"My mom is a retired curler who hated sweeping. My dad still dreams of skipping, but settles for a mixed event once a year with me. My brother, Bill, lives in Seoul, South Korea, where he teaches English, writes, works for the World Cup, is working on a philanthropic endeavor and is thinking about curling again.
"I live with my husband, Sean Silver, in a townhouse in downtown Chicago. We have a cat named Einstein. Like many competitive curlers, I struggle with the training-competing-volunteering-working and living-balancing act. Luckily for me, Sean is a competitive curler as well as a wonderful partner."
Heroes: "My parents, Nancy and Bill Swisshelm. The hard work and dedication along with a sense of humor that they have demonstrated in every aspect of their lives has taught me well. Their unwavering support of me and of my team’s quest for the gold has been invaluable. No matter what happens on the ice, they still believe in me. It has made my successes greater and my defeats lessons – not failures. Without their example and support, I would not be here to write this bio."
Another hero: "My brother, Billy Swisshelm. He is one of the most gifted people I have ever known. His ability to find something in each person he meets that is fascinating and compelling is wonderful. I tell people that he is saving the planet. And, actually, that is exactly what he is doing. I am hopeful that I carry a small bit of his talent."
Favorite sports: "I am a baseball fanatic and a die-hard Cubs fan. A sunny afternoon in the bleachers at Wrigley Field is close to a religious experience. The underdog gets me every time."
Hobbies: "Cooking – I love to cook thanks to my mom’s great ability and influence in the kitchen. Not quite gourmet status yet, but getting there. I have my own kitchen blowtorch for making crème brûlée."
Other favorites: "The city of Chicago, music, tennis, skiing, golf, talking to my 17-year-old Ficus plant named Rodney, and reading."
What I’d like the world to know about curling: "I call it Team Golf. If you appreciate the skills necessary for golf, then imagine applying those skills as a four-person unit on a field of ice. Curling requires stamina, the ability to shift from a high-powered throw to a delicate touch shot, mastery of complicated strategy, and the capacity to communicate unfailingly with your teammates."
Training: "On-ice training consists of daily practice, excluding most travel and competition days. I focus on line of delivery, release, and weight control through various drills. If I am practicing alone, I concentrate on weight control and release only. I like to use isolation drills that focus on creating muscle memory for each of my three main delivery controls.
"Off-ice training includes weights and cardio workouts several times per week."
Career goals: "Win the LOTTO and become a full-time professional curler."
Life goals: "See above. Add: Live happily ever after with Sean and a couple of kids."