The 2018 Olympics may have been disappointing for the U.S. women’s curling team, but Team USA has only gotten better over the last four years.
With three returners and a new skip, the team will be looking for a first ever Olympic curling medal for the U.S. in women’s curling.
Here’s what to know about the team before they open play Wednesday night.
This year’s team
The difference is Peterson is now the team’s skip, replacing Roth in the role from three years ago.
Since PyeongChang, the women have a third place finish at the 2021 World Championships, and a 32-7 record in five tournaments this season, including the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Peterson’s team is ranked sixth in the world.
The only change on the roster for this year’s team is Tara Peterson – Tabitha’s younger sister – who takes the place of Aileen Geving. Geving will serve as an alternate on the team for this year’s Games.
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Tabitha Peterson, 32, is playing in her second Olympics. She took over as skip of the U.S. women’s team in 2019 when Roth took maternity leave. The change has only made the team stronger, and helped elevate Tabitha’s game. She was named USA Female Curling Athlete of the Year that same year.
Away from the ice, Tabitha has a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota, and she currently lives in Minneapolis.
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Like her sister, Tara Peterson was elevated on Team USA due to another player’s maternity leave. When Geving left the team in 2018, Tara came on board as a fill-in.
But Tara is no stranger to USA Curling. She competed in two World Championships with the team prior to the 2018 Games, finishing sixth in 2014 and 10th in 2015. She was also on the team that finished third at Worlds in 2021.
Also like her sister, Tara has a Doctorate degree from the University of Minnesota, hers in dental surgery.
Tara has high expectations for the team in this year’s Games, telling TeamUSA.org: “Our goal is to get on the podium at the Olympics… We know we’re right up there with the best in the world, so we can hopefully get a medal.
“We’re playing well. We just need to keep it rolling.”
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Back for a second Olympics, Becca Hamilton will only be playing for the women’s team after pulling double duty in 2018 in women’s and mixed doubles curling.
Hamilton is looking to add to a family collection of Olympic medals after her brother, Matt, won gold with the men’s team in 2018.
“Now that Matt has a gold medal I need one too,” she told Olympics.com.
Hamilton has competed with the U.S. women’s team in three World Championships and nine National Championships, winning the USA title twice and finishing second three times.
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Nina Roth gave up her spot as skip of the U.S. team to have a baby in 2019.
Even though the team’s success in her absence pushed USA Curling to leave Tabitha Peterson as skip permanently, there were no hard feelings from Roth.
“My conversation with Nina was, ‘Do you think that you’ll be able to be a third and not think about what your responsibilities were as a skip?’” Peterson told SI.com. “And she was like, ‘Yep, 100%.’”
“Coming back in, I was probably a little bit more quiet, just wanting to let Tabitha know it’s her team, let her call her shots,” Roth told SI.com. “She’s throwing those last, high-pressure shots, so it’s important that she feels confident in them. But now, as we’ve played in more games in these positions, I’ve learned when I can say something and when to back off. It’s kind of a dance.”
Away from the ice, Roth is a supervising nurse who works three 12-hour shifts a week on top of 5-7 days of curling training.
The double duty as both an athlete and health care professional can be tough, but Roth told JS Online.com: “I’m very much needed at my hospital and I love what I do. And even though it’s very hard, I know that especially now I have the ability, and I have the training to be on the floor, I need to be there for my patients and for my hospital.”
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Aileen Geving was a member of the 2018 Olympic team, but stepped away from the game to have a daughter, Sienna, three years ago.
She’s now back with the teams as an alternate for these Games.
While Geving said she would love to be playing, she’s happy to still be with the team and provide support when needed.
“I still want to be playing, I still am super interested in being on the ice, but we also have a really good friendship as a team,” Geving told Olympics.com. “I won’t lie, it’s crossed my mind, do I find another team where I can play full-time, but with the bond that we have I just can’t imagine finding another team and competing the same way.”
U.S. women’s curling schedule
Feb. 9, 8:05 p.m. ET - Russian Olympic Committee vs. USA - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/CNBC
Feb. 10, 7:05 a.m. ET - USA vs. Denmark - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/NBC
Feb. 11, 1:05 a.m. ET - USA vs. China - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/USA
Feb. 12, 7:05 a.m. ET - Great Britain vs. USA - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/CNBC
Feb. 13, 1:05 a.m. ET - USA vs. Sweden - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock
Feb. 13, 8:05 p.m. ET - USA vs. Korea - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/CNBC/USA
Feb.15, 1:05 p.m. ET - USA vs. Switzerland - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/USA
Feb. 15, 8:05 p.m. ET - Canada vs. USA - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/CNBC
Feb. 16, 7:05 a.m. ET - Japan vs. USA - NBCOlympics.com/Peacock/CNBC