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Olympian Erika Brown retires from competitive curling

By Terry L. Davis | June 10, 2016, 2:15 p.m. (ET)


June 10, 2016

Olympian Erika Brown announces retirement from competitive curling

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – One of USA Curling’s most accomplished athletes is set to hang up her broom. Olympian Erika Brown announced today her retirement from competitive curling.

“My goal has always been to contend for medals on a world stage. Trying to find the balance between my competitive expectations, my full-time career and my desire to spend more time with my young family has become too challenging,” said Brown.

Brown, a three-time Olympian and native of Madison, Wis., most recently skipped Team USA at the 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship as the Americans finished sixth, shy of the team’s goal to be on top of the podium after a record-setting season competing in World Curling Tour events and winning the 2016 Continental Cup and 2016 National Championships.

Brown, 43, grew up curling at the Madison Curling Club and at age 15 made her Olympic debut at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary when curling was still a demonstration sport. She won five junior titles and three medals (two silver, one bronze) at subsequent World Junior Championships. In 1998, curling debuted as a medal sport in Nagano, Japan, and Brown was vice skip for Team USA during that historic moment as well. Sixteen years later she returned to the Olympic stage to skip the American women in Sochi in 2014. Brown also has hoisted the women’s national championship trophy nine times and earned two silver medals at the women’s world championships in 1999 and 1995.

“What I will treasure most about my competitive years is the relationships that have resulted,” Brown said. “I have been challenged and inspired by my teammates and fellow curlers over the years and am thankful to have experienced competition on the highest level with them by my side.” 

Brown won the 2000 U.S. Mixed National Championship title with her brother, Craig Brown, who also was a member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic team. She is a five-time Continental Cup champion and was named USA Curling’s Athlete of the Year four times (2013, 2004, 1991, 1989) and Team of the Year three times (2013, 2004, 1999).

Brown, an accomplished golfer as well, now resides in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three-time world curling champion Ian Tetley and their sons, where she works as a physician assistant with McMaster Family Health Team. 

This season, Brown and her team of fellow Olympians – Allison Pottinger, Nicole Joraanstad and Natalie Nicholson – advanced to the playoffs of every World Curling Tour event the team competed in and finished the season ranked No. 14 in the world in the yearlong standings. The team went through the 2016 National Championships with a 7-1 record and contributed to Team North America’s success at the 2016 Continental Cup in Las Vegas in January.

“I am very lucky to have finished out my competitive women’s run with three amazing women who have been both my friends and competitors over the last 25 years,” Brown said.

Team Brown jointly posted on their team Facebook account this morning that they will not be competing together next season:

“We wanted to reach out to our family and friends to let everyone know that we, Team E Brown, have decided not to play competitively next year.  Collectively we know what it takes to play at an elite level.  Finding a balance between our competitive expectations of being medal contenders and our priorities and passions off the ice was no longer possible. We are looking forward to spending more time with our young families!

We love to curl, to compete, and we especially loved to play together; it is not often you get to do something you love with your best friends.  We were proud to be Team USA in our last season together.  We achieved many of our goals and we could not have done it without our vast support network.

We want to take this chance to say thank you.  Thank you to our families.  It takes a village to cover a curling season as you all know.  We recognize the sacrifices you have made for us to curl at this level and we want you to know how much we have always appreciated it.  To our friends and fans, thank you for all of the support and words of encouragement, it has made a big difference along the way. Finally, thank you to our sponsors: TDS Telecom, Korbel, Sanford Health, Balance Plus and TRIA Orthopaedic. Your ongoing support has been invaluable.”


For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, Skills.com, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.