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Olympic action gets underway Tuesday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 15, 2010

Curling action begins Tuesday at 2010 Olympic Winter Games

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia)  - Curling action kicks off Tuesday at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games at the Vancouver Olympic Center.

Americans Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) are set to lead their teams in the opening round of play, which spans 11 days to determine the 2010 Olympic gold medalists.

"I am feeling prepared. The girls are throwing well. We were making sure we're all comfortable with our stones, to make sure we're all comfortable with our weights," McCormick said after practice this morning.

The first round of action begins at 9 a.m. with Shuster and teammates Jason Smith (Cape Coral, Fla.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) and Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.) battling Andy Kapp's German rink. They'll also take the ice at 7 p.m. against last year's world bronze medalists from Norway, who are skipped by Thomas Ulsrud.

McCormick and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.) begin play Tuesday afternoon against Japan's Moe Meguro rink, which finished seventh at the 2006 Olympic Games.

"We have played Japan twice this year. We know their style of play. They are good technically and good with (rock) placement," McCormick said.

Team USA members have a strong contingent of fans coming to watch them play, many of who arrived today to watch practice. "We are expecting 70 to 75 people coming in total," McCormick said.  

The Vancouver Olympic Center seats just under 6,000 spectators and tickets are going fast. Every round of competition is near sell-out with the playoffs promoted as special ticket events. Canada, home to 1 million of the world's 1.1 million curlers is the perfect setting to help grow the sport of curling worldwide as it is almost as popular here as hockey.

The U.S. curling team is residing in the Athlete Village, in the penthouse suite. Pre-competition practice got underway this morning for the second straight day. Prior to that, the U.S. team has been practicing for the past week at the nearby Richmond Curling Club.

Here is the two-day outlook for competition:

Tuesday, Feb. 16 - 9 a.m. USA men v. Germany; 2 p.m. USA women v. Japan; 7 p.m. USA men v. Norway
Wednesday, Feb. 17 - 9 a.m. USA women v. Germany; 2 p.m. USA men v. Switzerland
Men's standings:
USA 0-0
Canada 0-0
China 0-0
Denmark 0-0
France 0-0
Great Britain 0-0
Germany 0-0
Norway 0-0
Switzerland 0-0
Sweden 0-0

Women's standings:
USA 0-0
Canada 0-0
China 0-0
Denmark 0-0
Great Britain 0-0
Germany 0-0
Japan 0-0
Russia 0-0
Switzerland 0-0
Sweden 0-0

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Nike, bitRail, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and is partnered with CurlingZone and Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC.

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , 608-338-9900 (cell), 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office)  
 
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