Nation’s Curlers Gather In Green Bay

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Curling teams from around the country are competing in Green Bay this week. Stakes are high because winning teams will move on to Olympic trials later this year.

Curling looks like shuffleboard played out on ice, with team members moving a “rock” and fellow players sweeping it along until it comes to a painted circle.

Jared Zezel is from Bemidji, Minnesota. He belongs to one of the men’s teams hoping to make it to the final round this weekend. “A lot of people think [curling is] not athletic, but I can tell you right now I’m sore from the last five games. It’s a really good workout, sweeping, it works out your legs, upper body, chest, it’s not what people think it is. It’s tough on your body.”

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Zezel’s is one of the ten men’s competing teams this week, along with another ten women’s teams.

Rick Patzke is the Chief Operating Officer with USA Curling, which is sponsoring the event. Patzke says this week’s winners progress for the chance of going to the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“The winners will represent the USA in the upcoming world championships for men in Victoria, Canada in April. And the women in Riga, Latvia in March. The significance of the world championships is it also qualifies the nations for the Sochi Olympics next year.”

This is the first time the curling championships have been hosted in Green Bay in fifty years. The weekend’s finals will be broadcast on network television.

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