Omaha To Host Olympic Team Trials For Curling
OMAHA (FOX42KPTM) —
Omaha is about to make Olympic history once again, this time as part of the 2018 Winter Games.
The city's been chosen to host team trials for curling. Omaha is already a player on the national sports scene in baseball and swimming, and now it will get to take the spotlight in a sport that not many know much about.
Chris Becher, a member of Aksarben Curling Club, said, "It's just a huge thing to see curling come to Omaha."
The sport will be played on the ice rinks at Baxter Arena. It's where the Olympic Team Trials for curling will take place next November.
Chris Kircher, board chair of the Omaha Sports Commission Board of Directors, said, "We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to bring a winter sport, curling, the first winter Olympic trial to Omaha."
Kircher and others are especially delighted after going up against cities like Jacksonville, Philadelphia, Ogden and Provo, UT to get the bid.
UNO Associate Athletic Director Mike Kemp said, "This will be one more step towards seeing another sport in this community, outside of hockey and figure skating, and speed skating, the sport of curling get the spotlight."
Curling only started to get major TV coverage in the 90's, but it does continue to grow in popularity every year. Now a group of local, dedicated followers wants to make sure that continues to happen.
Steve Jaixen said, “It gets people together. They have fun."
Jaixen has been part of the Aksarben Curling Club since he was a kid. He'll be helping out during the trials to make it a great experience for athletes and fans.
Jaixen said, "I'm looking forward to a community that really hasn't been able to see the sport engage with it."
But watching the sport isn't the only thing fans will get to do during the trials.
Wes Hall, chief operating officer for the Omaha Sports Commission, said, "We will have sheets of ice on this side of the building that people can come and curl while we're competing on the main ice."
Jaixen hopes by doing this it will encourage more people in Omaha to pick-up curling themselves.
Teams can start qualifying in 2017.
The trials will run from November 12-19.
The 2018 Winter Games will start in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.