USA Curling staff and National Team directors have determined that due to increasing COVID-19 cases throughout the United States, any remaining United States Curling Association sanctioned events for the 2020-21 season will either be cancelled or postponed until the second half of spring 2021.
With these postponements, the 2021 world championships are now scheduled to precede USA Curling’s annual men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles national championships.
As a result, USA Curling – with the support of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the Athletes’ Advisory Council (AAC) – has determined that last season’s 2020 national champions in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles have been appointed to represent the United States at the 2021 worlds.
Team Tabitha Peterson of Minneapolis will represent the United States at the 2021 women’s worlds in Switzerland, which is still on the books for a late March start.
Team John Shuster of Duluth, Minn., will wear the Stars and Stripes at the 2021 men’s worlds that were just announced for Calgary in early April.
Finally, in the mixed doubles discipline, Tabitha Peterson and teammate Joe Polo have accepted the invitation to represent the U.S. at the 2021 worlds, recently announced for late April at a date and location to be determined.
“We are committed to navigating through this competition season in the safest and fairest way possible,” said Jeff Plush, USA Curling CEO. “However, based on consultations with medical professionals and updates from the CDC, it is not prudent to host competitions right now.
“While we are eager to return to competition, the safety of our athletes, volunteers, and host communities remains top priority,” said Plush. “We encourage all of our members to operate under these same guidelines.”
The USA Curling staff is planning a bubble environment and contingency plans for the 2021 Nationals to be contested in the month of May. All three championships are critical, as they serve as qualifying events for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Trials.
USA Curling has also made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 senior championships, and postpone three others – the U18, U21 and Club nationals – with dates and locations still to be determined.