(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., has been selected to host the 2014 USA Curling Mixed National Championship March 15-22.
The Tri-City Curling Club will host the 10 teams for the competition, which will take place at the South Wood County Recreational Center (SWCRC).
“The South Wood County Recreation Center is thrilled to contribute to the enthusiasm and tradition that the Tri-City Curling Club shares for the sport of curling,” said Jim Arnold, rink manager for the South Wood County Recreation Center. “Our staff is looking forward to joining forces to host the 2014 USA Mixed National Curling Championship here in Wisconsin Rapids. We hope all the participants and families look forward to visiting us in Central Wisconsin.”
This is the first time Wisconsin Rapids will host a national championship for USA Curling.
“When plans for building the SWCRC were made, a goal in the mind at least one of its promoters, and one shared by a few members of the Tri-City Curling Club, was to host a national curling championship at the arena sometime in the future,” said Mike Swanson, event chairman and member of the Tri-City Curling Club. “While curling has been around the Wisconsin Rapids area since 1958, it is still a hidden treasure. The opportunity to introduce our sport to the community through the USA Curling Mixed National Championship was too great to pass up.”
Mixed curling competitions feature teams of two men and two women. At the moment, this event is a national championship that does not lead to a world championship. Regional competitions will take place this winter to determine the 10 teams that qualify to the national event in Wisconsin.
“The USA Curling Mixed National Championship is the perfect event to bring to Wisconsin Rapids, with the combination of high level competition and enough time off the ice to really get to know the players,” said Rick Patzke, chief operating officer for USA Curling. “It is also very satisfying to see the partnership developed between the Tri-City Curling Club and South Wood County Recreation Center to host this championship. With the strong and proud history of curling in the Tri-City area, we anticipate that the 2014 hosts will raise the bar even higher for future host sites.”
Last year’s event took place in Willmar, Minn., with Connecticut’s Derek Surka rink defeating Wisconsin’s Sean Murray team, 10-4, for the title.
“Hosting a national championship is a major challenge and we have had tremendous cooperation and support from our partnering organizations, Visit Wisconsin Rapids, formerly the Visitors and Convention Bureau, the South Wood County Recreation Center and the Wisconsin Rapids Area Sports Commission,” Swanson said. “We look forward to working with area, regional and national sponsors to present a unique sports experience for the residents of Central Wisconsin and a high quality, memorable competition for the qualifying teams.”