Three Fairbanksans are currently competing at the U.S. Olympic Curling Trials as they seek to qualify for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China.
Greg Persinger, Colin Hufman and Vicky Persinger all are participating in Omaha, Nebraska, where six men’s and six women’s teams vie for a single coveted spot in each gender to the Olympics.
The tournaments are set up as double round-robins. After each team’s 10 matches wrap up on Thursday, the top two squads will face off in a best-of-three playoff on Nov. 19-20 to determine the champion.
Greg Persinger, 43, is the skip for his team, which started off with two wins and has a 4-3 record through seven matches. That’s good for a second-place tie as of Tuesday afternoon.
Team Persinger trails the undefeated Team Shuster (7-0) — the reigning Olympic gold medalists — and is tied with Team Dropkin (4-3). Persinger has dropped two games to Dropkin and one to Shuster, with a crucial game remaining on Wednesday against Shuster.
Meanwhile, Hufman — a former teammate of Persinger’s — is the second curler on Team Ruohonen, which holds a 3-4 record and remains in contention for a top-two placing. Hufman, 36, began curling at age 11 and is competing is his fifth Olympic Trials but has never made the Olympic team. He now lives in Minneapolis.
The standings are also tight on the women’s side, where Team Christensen sits in second place with a 4-2 record. Vicky Persinger, Greg’s cousin, is the second curler on that team. Vicky, 29, began curling at the age of 5.
Leading the women’s division at 5-1 is Team Peterson, which won bronze at the 2021 World Curling Championships. Two other teams have posted 3-3 records through six games.
Vicky Persinger works at Yukon Title Company in Fairbanks and earned a degree in air traffic control at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In her only other U.S. Olympic Trials experience, her team placed second in 2018.
Vicky Persinger also has a second possibility to make the 2022 Olympics.
In October, she and partner Chris Plys won the U.S. Olympic Mixed Doubles Trials in Minnesota. They’ll now represent the U.S. at a qualification event in the Netherlands Dec. 5-9, where the top two teams among the 14 countries entered will earn an Olympic berth.
Mixed doubles made its Olympic debut in 2018.