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Tabitha Peterson wins U.S. Olympic women’s curling trials, eyes ending another drought

2022 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling

OMAHA, NEBRASKA - NOVEMBER 20: Tabitha Peterson of the United States delivers a stone during Game 2 of the US Olympic Team Trials at Baxter Arena on November 20, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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Tabitha Peterson is going back to the Olympics, this time in charge of a team looking to win the U.S.’ first women’s curling medal.

Team Peterson swept a team skipped by Cory Christensen in the Olympic Trials finals in Omaha on Saturday night to qualify for the Beijing Winter Games.

Peterson made good on favorite status entering Olympic Trials. It went 11-1 in Omaha, six months after earning bronze at the world championship, the first U.S. women’s medal at that tournament in 15 years.

Come February, Peterson’s group will look to reverse lackluster recent U.S. Olympic results. American women in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 went a combined 9-27, including a pair of last-place finishes.

The best of that bunch was Peterson’s team in PyeongChang. That rink, then skipped by Nina Roth, had a shot at the playoffs going into its final round-robin game, a respectable 9-6 loss to eventual gold medalist Sweden to finish 4-5.

Peterson, a pharmacist, then took over as skip while Roth, a nurse, went on maternity leave.

Roth returned, but Peterson remained skip, winning the 2020 national title and then leading the drought-ending medal team at worlds, beating the Olympic champion in the bronze-medal game.

PyeongChang Olympian Becca Hamilton and the team’s new addition since 2018, Tara Peterson (Tabitha’s younger sister), round out the roster. Tara’s inclusion pushed full-fledged 2018 team member Aileen Geving to an alternate spot.

Peterson, Roth, Hamilton and Geving have been curling together since June 2016 after USA Curling’s high performance program grouped them together.

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