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Alright, It's Showtime (11/7/13)

BY JESSICA SCHULTZ

Go USA! At the Media Summit in October. The torch was actually
used in the 2006 Games.
My brother and sister in law surprised us at our event in
Abbotsford, Canada.
The team getting some time off the ice for sightseeing in Abbotsford
Practice at The Four Seasons in Blaine, Minn.

Alright, I guess we are doing this…  ;-)

I sit during my last practice session before the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling, staring out onto an empty sheet of ice reflecting on the past few months. Questions whirl through my mind. Did I practice enough? Am I mentally ready for the competition? Do I have good weight control? Is our team ready to peak now? Are the girls handling the pressure ok? Did we get enough games in?

The answer is yes. Stop thinking and throw. Enjoy this moment… I breathe in the crisp cool air, take aim at my red Solo cup, drive out of the hack, and let the rock slide. (The cup is my target when I’m practicing on my own.)

The Olympic Trials are here. The field has been narrowed down to four women’s teams — all competing for their shot to proudly represent our country at the Olympic Winter Games. The format is a double round robin with the top two teams moving on to a best of three final. This is the most competitive U.S. event I have been a part of. All four teams have been training their hearts out for their shot at victory, and all of them know what it takes to be a champion. The games will be filled with passion and intense emotions that are only felt in rare instances.

My heart races at the thought of walking into the arena in Fargo. Every cell in my body is excited for this week. Leading up to the Trials I have found trying to keep focus on my daily routine has proved to be a chore. Sleep has been restless and the anticipation of feeling the outcome (win or lose) is building. My parents, who I haven’t seen in over a year, are flying in from Alaska, and I have family coming from all over to watch. They have been my base through the years, and it means a lot to have them here cheering us on.

The support we have had along our journey is inspiring and we are charged to get on the ice and perform at our highest level. The competition will be fierce and will keep the fans on the edge of their seats. Whoever the champion is, I’m sure they will be a great representative for our country in Sochi.

There will be live web streaming throughout the week on usacurl.org, and the finals will be aired on NBC Sports Network. Be sure to check out 2014usacurlingtrials.com for more information.

We will also be updating via social media - follow Team E. Brown on Facebook and @RockEBro and @Jess_curls on Twitter.

Cheer loud!