Get to know Team Birr

By Amy Nielsen | Oct. 24, 2017, 10:41 a.m. (ET)

Meet Team Todd Birr, another team that will be competing in the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in November. Veteran skip Todd Birr (Blaine, Minn.) leads the team that received silver in the 2017 U.S. Men’s Nationals. Birr’s teammates include Olympian John Benton, Hunter Clawson and Tom O’Connor. The team is coached by Wayne Anderson.

Skip Todd Birr, 49, Blaine, Minn., began curling in 1984 and this year marks his third trip to the Olympic Team Trials. Additionally, Birr has made 13 trips to the U.S. Men’s Nationals, along with numerous other championships over the years. Birr works as head ice maker for his home club, Four Seasons Curling Club. To learn more about Birr, checkout his athlete bio here

Vice skip John Benton, 48, Blaine, Minn., makes his fifth appearance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials this year. Benton’s team placed first in his last Olympic Team Trial appearance in 2010. He went on to represent the U.S. at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and 2009 World Men's Championship. Benton works as director of curling operations at Four Seasons Curling Club. Read more about Benton here.

Second Hunter Clawson, 21, Clarksville, Md., makes his first U.S. Olympic Team Trials appearance this year. Clawson led his team to the 2017 Mixed National Championship title and just returned from representing the U.S. at the 2017 World Mixed Championship in Switzerland. His young team placed sixth in the U.S. National Championships in 2017 and 2016. Learn more about Clawson here.

Lead Tom O’Connor, 38, a native of Wausau, Wis., who now calls Minnesota home, also makes his first appearance at this year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The first generation curler has appeared at the U.S. National Championships 10 times, and was runner-up in 2017. Find out more about O’Connor here.

Did you know:

  • If Tom could add a celebrity to their team he'd select Conor McGregor, "We need a team goon!"
  • Todd Birr won the Ann Brown Sportsmanship Award in 2011.
  • John Benton began curling with his family when he was 6.
  • Hunter Clawson won Potomac Curling Club Curler of the Year in 2017, 2016 and 2014.
  • If Tom could play another Olympic sport well he'd choose golf

Tom will take over the USA Curling Twitter account at 1 p.m. CT today. Send questions to our Twitter account at @usacurl. 

About the author: Amy Nielsen is one of several University of Nebraska-Omaha students assisting USA Curling's Terry Davis in the lead-up and during the Olympic Team Trials in Omaha.