The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are eight days away and for one Wisconsinite, she is ready to represent the red, white, and blue. Tonight in our Gordy's athlete of the week, Bob Gallaher introduces us to Olympic curler, Debbie McCormick.
"Once you walk out, it's an overwhelming feeling, of excitement and joy and tears. It's kind of a reflection on everything that you went through to get there. How hard it was an your achievement to be at the Olympics," says McCormick.
Debbie McCormick has been curling for 32 years and four times she has called herself an Olympian. McCormick grew up in Rio, Wisconsin, about 30 miles north of Madison. Debbie was in Eau Claire earlier this month taking part in a tournament, using the weekend as a final tune-up before the Sochi games in Russia.
"I think just being at the Olympics before and knowing what to expect at the games will be is going to help us tremendously. I haven't won a medal yet, but we're working very hard to get on the podium."
The United States has only one medal in curling at the Olympics, the men taking home bronze in 2006, with the women's best finish coming in 2002 when they were fourth. McCormick says the sport of curling is all about precision.
"In curling you have to be very detailed in your rock placement because if we have a shot and we don't do it just perfectly then the other team will take advantage of it. So it's going to be a lot of capitalizing on our opponent's misses," says McCormick.
Unlike her other United States teammates whose Olympic experiences might last only a minute or two, the curlers will play nine matches, and hopefully more if they can make it to the medal round. Debbie says representing her country is the most amazing feeling.
"Just to wear USA on your back, at the opening ceremony, you are with all the other athletes from the United States from all the other sports, and you feel like one big team that's competing. And it's just an overwhelming feeling to be a part of it. I think that's when it hits you and you say to yourself, oh my gosh, I'm at the Olympics at the opening ceremonies."