The first of five U.S. Olympic Trials for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Curling Trials are underway this week in Eveleth, Minnesota.
Extensive live coverage of the six-day tournament is being presented on NBCSN, Olympic Channel, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
Ten teams that have qualified over the better part of two years for Trials are playing a round-robin format Tuesday through Friday, with tiebreakers set for Friday and Saturday if needed, followed by page playoffs on the latter. The final day of action features a semifinal broadcast on Olympic Channel and the winner-takes-all final on NBCSN Sunday night.
The teams feature a who’s who of elite curlers in the United States, including eight Olympians and four Youth Olympians.
Mixed doubles made its Olympic debut four years ago in PyeongChang, with one man and one woman playing together on each team. Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton won the 2018 Trials and finished sixth in Korea.
They return, though hardly as favorites, as the field also includes the past four U.S. championship teams, all of whom have world championship experience.
Cory Christensen and John Shuster, who were runners-up to the Hamiltons at Trials last quad, are among those favorites after earning bronze at the 2019 World Championships. Both are Olympians in the traditional four-person curling, with Shuster representing the U.S. at the past four Winter Games and skipping his team to a historic gold in 2018.
Olympians Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo also have a world medal, bronze in 2016, and won nationals in 2016 and 2019.
Other top contenders include 2012 Youth Olympians Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin, who were fifth at worlds in 2015 and earned two Grand Final medals together in 2019, and 2021 U.S. champions Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys. Plys is on Shuster’s men’s team that is favored to go to Beijing for that event.
Other teams to watch this week include 2018 Olympian Aileen Geving with 2016 Youth Olympic medalist Luc Violette, Jenna Burchesky and Violette’s Youth Olympic teammate Ben Richardson, and Jamie Sinclair, skip for the fourth-place team at the 2018 women’s worlds, with 2018 men’s team Olympic Trials runner-up Rich Ruohonen.
Many of the same athletes will be back in action Nov. 12-21 for the Olympic Trials that will select the U.S. men’s team and women’s team for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Curling Schedule
|Date||Key Events||Time (ET)||Network|
|Tuesday, Oct. 26||Draw 1: Christensen/Shuster vs. Hamilton/Hamilton||1 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Draw 2: Burchesky/Richardson vs. Persinger/Plys||8 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Wednesday, Oct. 27||Draw 3: Peterson/Polo vs. Anderson/Dropkin||11 a.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Draw 4: Geving/Violette vs. Walker/Leichter||3:30 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Draw 5: Sinclair/Ruohonen vs. Bear/Stopera||8 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Thursday, Oct. 28||Draw 6: Persinger/Plys vs. Christensen/Shuster||1 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports all|
|Draw 7: Hamilton/Hamilton vs. Peterson/Polo||8 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Friday, Oct. 29||Draw 8: Bear/Stopera vs. Geving/Violette||1 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Draw 9: Anderson/Dropkin vs. Sinclair/Ruohonen||7 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Tiebreaker #2 if necessary||10 p.m.||NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Saturday, Oct. 30||Tiebreaker #1 if necessary||9 a.m.||NBCOlympics.com | LIVE STREAM|
|Page playoffs||1 p.m.||NBCSN | NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Sunday, Oct. 31||Semifinal||12 p.m.||Olympic Channel | NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|
|Final||8 p.m.||NBCSN | NBCOlympics.com | NBC Sports app|