CURLING: 2006 Olympian to compete in inaugural 2008 World Mixed Doubles Championship

March 06, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 6, 2008 2006 Olympian ready for 2008 World Mixed Doubles (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The inaugural World Mixed Doubles Championship kicks off Saturday in Vierumaki, Finland. The U.S. will be represented by 2006 Olympian Jamie (Johnson) Haskell and her husband, Nate Haskell, of Bemidji, Minn. The Haskells won the U.S. Mixed Doubles Championship back in December. This new world championship varies a bit from regular curling. Mixed doubles feature two players (one male, one female) per team as opposed to the traditional four-person curling teams. Each game will consist of eight ends, instead of 10. Each team will deliver five stones per end with one player delivering the first and fifth stones and the other team member throwing the stones in between. Prior to the start of each end, one team shall instruct the game umpire to place their team's stationary stone and the opposing team's stationary stone either as a guard outside the house bisecting the center line or on the back half of the button. Sweeping is allowed but with just two players that means either the thrower will sweep their own stone or the other team member will leave the house to sweep. Twenty-four teams of two will compete at the week-long event. They are split into three pools of eight teams for round robin play. Team USA opens the competition against Wales at 9 a.m. Saturday (local time). Other countries in their pool include China, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Poland and Switzerland. Jamie Haskell won gold at the 2002 World Junior Championships (the only gold at that level for the U.S.) and silver at the 2005 World Women's Championship held in Scotland. She is a two-time U.S. junior champion, 2005 U.S. national champion, and 2006 Olympic Trials winner. As a member of Team USA at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, she finished seventh. Her husband, Nate, began curling just a few years ago and plays on a competitive men's team, led by two-time junior national champion and 2003 men's national champion Eric Fenson, brother of 2006 Olympian Pete Fenson (also of Bemidji). The Finnish Curling Association will post live results online at: USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).