Olympic Bronze Medalists Visit Evergreen Curling Club

By Kristy Schnabel, Evergreen Curling Club

When the Evergreen Curling Club members, based in Portland-Vancouver area of Oregon and Washington, got wind that Pete Fenson's bronze-medal winning Olympic Team was coming to the area, they leapt into action.

Although the team was coming at the invitation of Nike, located in nearby Beaverton, to discuss sports equipment and apparel, might they be interested in a curling demo for Evergreen? The visiting curling team, which included Pete Fenson, Shawn Rojeski, Joe Polo, Scott Baird, and Coach Bob Fenson, along with Rick Patze of the USCA, enthusiastically agreed.

Saturday, June 17th began with golf at the Wildwood Golf Course in Scappoose, Ore., with spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens. Team Fenson, joined by about 10 people from Evergreen, shot 18 holes followed by lunch at MacTarnahan’s Taproom, famous for their Scottish brews.

When the group arrived at the Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver, Wash., they were greeted by Evergreen Club members, local media (TV and newspaper), and the public who had heard about the event. Everyone hit the ice, and the fun began.

Team Fenson demonstrated a few ends as they played against a variety of Evergreen members. Pete explained strategy to the crowd of about 30, experienced and newbie curlers alike. A couple of 14 year old boys were thrilled when Pete told them that he started curling at age 13.

Unaccustomed to this arena's ice, the Olympians were all great sports. Polo had given his shoes to Nike, and so he played in shorts and sneakers.

After the demo, the experts divided themselves among the five sheets to give individual instruction to Evergreen members and some people who had never curled before. In between activities, the visitors gave interviews to the media.

Later, many gathered at Evergreen members’ Steve and Frosti Talley's house for a potluck in Portland. The visiting curlers generously stayed for hours telling stories of their curling adventures and indulging their fans with countless questions, this despite a very early flight the next morning.

"It was cool to spend quality time with Team USA, a great bunch of guys, said Arnie Iwanick, incoming president. "It was a pleasure to have them visit Nike, our fair cities of Portland and Vancouver, and our curling club. The sport of curling received great publicity and many had an unforgettable day thanks to Team USA."

Evergreen Curling Club wishes to thank their generous sponsors who helped make this event possible: Nike, Pyramid Brewing Company, Harris Group Inc, and Mountain View Ice Arena.

As published in the United States Curling News, Summer 2006
All photos by Dan Sorensen. Download and publication approved with attribution.

Jeff Tomlinson delivers

Jeff Tomlinson delivers while Shawn Rojeski sweeps. (Photo: D. Sorensen)

Joe Polo's bronze medal

Kristy Schnabel examines Joe Polo's bronze medal. (Photo: D. Sorensen)

Doug & Shawn sweep

Shawn Rojeski (l) and Doug Schaak (r) sweep. (Photo: D. Sorensen)

Pete Fenson skps
Joe Polo and Evergreen members.
ECC members pose with Olympians

Peren Bjork & Arnie Iwanick sweep while Pete Fenson skips. (Photo: D. Sorensen)

Evergreen junior members pose with Joe Polo and his bronze medal. (Photo: D. Sorensen)

Evergreen Curling Club members pose with the Team USA 2006 bronze winning Olympians. (Photo: D. Sorensen)