USA's 2014 Olympic team nominees will highlight Team North America at the upcoming 2014 World Financial Group Continental Cup in Las Vegas.
Teams led by Sochi-bound Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario) and John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) will join four rinks from Canada to form Team North America for the 2014 Continental Cup Jan. 16-19 at the Orleans Arena. This will be the first time this event, which mirrors golf's Ryder Cup, will take place outside of Canada.
"This should be a great opportunity to tighten things up one final time before heading to Sochi," said Shuster, who will make his rookie debut at the Cup. "Our team is so excited to represent the USA on Team North America, especially in the first Cup to ever be held in the US. Sounds like there's gonna be some great crowds!"
Canada's two 2014 Olympic teams - the Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones rinks - highlight the Canadian teams, which will also include Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton, who qualified by winning the Capital One Canada Cup in December 2012 in Moose Jaw, Sask., and Ottawa's Rachel Homan, the reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion.
"Being a part of the first Continental Cup to be held in the U.S. is a thrill for all of us! I have never been to Vegas. I will get introduced to the city and they will get introduced to the sport we love," said Brown, who will make her fourth appearance at the Cup - an event she has never lost. Her father, Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) is Team North America's captain.
Team World was announced earlier this fall. The reigning world champions - Eve Muirhead from Scotland and Niklas Edin of Sweden - will bring their teams to Las Vegas as well as Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson, Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa, Scotland's David Murdoch of Scotland, and Norway's Thomas Ulsrud rink.
The Continental Cup, a joint venture of the United States Curling Association, Canadian Curling Association and World Curling Federation, features six teams from North America competing against six teams representing the rest of the world in various disciplines during four days of competition - traditional team games, mixed doubles, singles, mixed skins and standard skins games. Each segment awards points for wins (or ties).
Team North America has won the event five times, including in the 2013 event in January in Penticton, B.C., Canada. The sides have alternated victories since the inaugural Continental Cup in 2002, which took place in Regina, Sask., Canada.
For ticket and other event information, visit www.curling.ca/2014continentalcup-en/.
Team North America Lineups
John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.)
Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.)
Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.)
John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.)
Jeff Stoughton (Winnipeg)
Erika Brown (Oakville, Ont./Madison, Wis.)
Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.)
Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Ann Swisshelm (Chicago)
Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg)
Rachel Homan (Ottawa)
Captain: Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.)
Coach: Rick Lang
Team World line-ups:
Niklas Edin (Sweden)
David Murdoch (Scotland)
Thomas Ulsrud (Norway)
Håvard Vad Petersson
Eve Muirhead (Scotland)
Margaretha Sigfridsson (Sweden)
Satsuki Fujisawa (Japan)
Captain: David Hay (Scotland)
Coach: Peja Lindholm (Sweden)
USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, and BalancePlus and is partnered with Ludus Tours, CurlingZone, and RJM Licensing, Inc.
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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell)