Americans Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys clinched a spot in the Olympic mixed doubles curling tournament in a last-ditch qualifier in the Netherlands this week.
Persinger, who is going to their first Olympics, and Plys, a 2010 Olympian who has already qualified with the men’s team, have won their seven games as the top-ranked team on the pitch, topped by one game winner in Beijing against Russia on Thursday.
Mixed doubles made its debut at the 2018 Olympics. The field has grown from eight teams to 10 for 2022.
The top seven teams from May’s world championship qualified, as did host China. The United States finished eighth at the world championships, so they had to go to last-ditch qualifying to try their luck at one of the bottom two spots.
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In 2018, brothers and sisters Becca Hamilton and Matt hamilton represented the United States in Olympic mixed doubles and was 2-5, placing seventh. In 2019, Cory christensen and John shuster won bronze at the world championship.
Plys, who plays for Shuster’s men’s team, and Persinger have never competed in the mixed doubles world championships.
Plys, like the Hamiltons in 2018, will be one of the busiest athletes at the Olympics, competing in both mixed doubles and team tournaments.
Mixed doubles matches mark the start of competition at the Beijing Games, starting on the Wednesday before the Opening Ceremony. The medal matches take place the following Tuesday. The men’s and women’s tournaments then begin.
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