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Meet the Browns, the biggest US curling family

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 9, 2014 at 4:06 am •  Published: February 9, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Meet the Browns, unofficially the U.S. First Family of Curling.

There's Erika, skip of the women's team competing in the Sochi Olympics. Her brother, Craig, is also in Russia as an alternate for the men's team.

Then there's Steve and Diane Brown, the parents, who also curled for the U.S. Steve will be coaching the U.S. wheelchair team in the Sochi Paralympics next month.

Between the four natives of Madison, Wisconsin, the Browns have won 19 national titles in singles and mixed competition dating back to the mid-1980s, and — just for good measure — own the biggest curling retailer in the United States.

Oh, and Erika is married to three-time Canadian and world curling champion Ian Tetley.

Perhaps it's not a surprise that the 'First Family' nickname has stuck. Curling is in their blood.

"Certainly if our children want to play, they will get some proper training," Craig said, with a smile.

And the latest generation is already being groomed — Erika says her kids, 6-year-old Cole and 7-year-old Nathan, have already tried curling and are on the ice "at least every week or two."

"As soon as they get a little bigger, we will work on it," Erika says. "I'm hoping they've got some genes in there that are going to spur this onto the next generation."

For the moment, though, the focus is on bringing home a first Olympic medal to add to the family collection of silverware. As it stands, Erika appears to be in the best position to accomplish that, with her experienced team that also contains Debbie McCormick, Jessica Schultz and Ann Swisshelm among the favorites in Sochi.

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