NFL tight end Vernon Davis said he expects to attend his third straight Winter Olympics next year, according to ESPN.com.
USA Curling has a standing offer that he can reprise his role as honorary team captain.
Davis, then with the San Francisco 49ers, learned about curling from a 49ers beat writer before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, gave it a try and took to it.
Within weeks, USA Curling found out and extended the honorary captain offer.
“I’m open to try new things and different things,” Davis said in Sochi while watching the U.S. men play. “I find it fascinating.”
He began curling recreationally in the Bay Area, then moved to Denver in 2015 and Washington last year.
Hopefully, he has raised awareness for one of the cult-following sports of the Winter Games.
“The Winter Olympics, when everyone hears curling, they’re thinking … oh, Vernon does that,” Davis said in Sochi. “It makes people want to look at it. They want to get involved. They want to see what’s going on. They want to learn more about it. They’re on the Internet, Googling ‘curling,’ trying to find out about it. Which is a pretty good thing.”
MORE: 18 U.S. Olympic hopefuls to watch for PyeongChang 2018
Who will be the oldest member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic team?
Here are some candidates:
Bode Miller, Alpine Skiing, Age 39
The six-time Olympic medalist hasn’t raced since severing his right hamstring tendon in a February 2015 World Championships crash. But Miller hasn’t retired and has spoken of a possible comeback next season.
Nate Holland, Snowboard Cross, Age 38
Seven X Games titles but no Olympic medals for Holland, who has taken part in all three Olympic snowboard cross competitions and made the final once, finishing fourth in Vancouver. Holland won a World Cup at the PyeongChang Olympic venue last February.
Seth Wescott, Snowboard Cross, Age 40
The Maine native won the first two Olympic snowboard cross titles in 2006 and 2010 and then failed to qualify for Sochi. Wescott just couldn’t get back from a complete reconstruction of his left ACL in April 2013 after falling into an Alaska crevasse while shooting part of a film for ski and snowboard director Warren Miller. Wescott finished 10th in his last World Cup on Jan. 21, his best finish in nearly four years.
KC Boutiette, Speed Skating, Age 46
The pioneer of the inline invasion to speed skating came out of a nine-year international retirement in 2015 with an eye on the mass start event, which makes its Olympic debut in PyeongChang. He won a World Cup race in December for the first time in 12 years. Boutiette could go 24 years between his first and last Olympic appearances.
The oldest member of the U.S. Olympic team in Vancouver and Sochi was a curler. And just last year, three members of the U.S. Nationals-winning rink were born in the 1970s — Brady Clark, Greg Persinger and Philip Tilker.
Storylines | 18 US Stars | 18 Global Stars | Strange Olympic Hopefuls | Key events
Oldest US Olympian? | Youngest US Olympian? | Venue Photo Gallery | North Korea
Curling Night in America returns in January for nine episodes on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app.
The series’ third season features the U.S. Curling Grand Prix, a made-for-TV international event from Dec. 1-3 in Duluth, Minn.
American men’s and women’s rinks, plus a U.S. team in the new Olympic discipline of mixed doubles, will take on China, Japan and Scotland
Pete Fenson, a 2006 Olympic bronze medalist, will serve as analyst.
Here’s the broadcast schedule (all ET):
Jan. 19 — 8-10 p.m.
Jan. 27 — 8-10 p.m.
Feb. 3 — 10 p.m.-midnight
Feb. 10 — 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Feb. 17 — 10 p.m.-midnight
Feb. 24 — 8-10 p.m.
March 2 — 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
March 11 — 7-9 p.m.
March 17 — 7-9 p.m.
VIDEO: Curling fall leaves blood on the ice