An Olympian’s journey from swimming to curling

Editor’s note: Tis is part three in a series of features with Olympic themes

in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. By Brad Whitlock, Curling News writer

when the USA team emerged. It was remarkable,” reminisces Anne Warner Cribbs, a member of the 1960 USA Olympic Summer Games team. Cribbs has strong connections to the curling world, yet she’s never

curled. Her curling connection is rooted in the Continental Cup, an event that has been obtaining record-breaking crowds for a U.S.-based curling event since 2014 in Las Vegas. As Volunteer Director for the local organizing committee of the Conti-

nental Cup, her role for the last four years has been to handle the volunteer side of things at the Cup. “It’s something our organization is very proud to be managing,” she said. Her organization (which she heads as President and Chief Executive Officer) is the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee (BASOC). Tey oſten handle sporting events involving large numbers of athletes and volunteers. Te success of the Cup has required some heavy, and resourceful, work with volunteers. “Te Continental Cup is an event we really enjoy and are proud of,” she said. Women Empowerment and the Cold War Era

Cribbs participated in the 1960 Rome Olympics on the USA women’s

swim team at the tender age of 15. As Cribbs points out quickly, things were very different in those days, in a number of ways. Technology was primitive compared to today. Film of their competition

was placed in a canister and flown back to New York where it was broadcast the next day. Tere was no Internet, no satellites, no live broadcasting, no streaming, no cell phones, and no personal computers. It was a different age in terms of media and technology. In those days, equivalency had not yet been achieved for female ath-

letes. “Te women’s team was actually known as the ‘girls’ swim team,” she laughs. “It’s difficult to imagine given where we are today, but there was no Title IX (a law best known for breaking down barriers for girls and women in sports),” she adds. She also remembers those Olympic Games as a time when the USA was

entrenched in a brewing Cold War. “It was a big deal to be there with other countries such as the USSR. We grew up in a day and age where the Soviet Union was our enemy. Tere were bomb shelters in our backyards and we had drop drills in school,” she recalls. Cribbs says those 1960 Rome Olympics are oſten cited as one of the last

“pure” Olympics because there were very few sponsors and little talk of performance enhancing drugs. “It was very innocent, in a sense,” she re- members. And then it was over. When the Games ended, the women’s team (aka the

“girls” team) returned home to the USA. Te men’s team toured Europe but for the women there were no such opportunities. Te female team required chaperones and there was nothing further to pursue in their sport. Tere were very few high school women’s swim teams and no college swim teams for women. So, home they came, retiring from their swimming careers at the ripe old ages of 15, 16, and 17. Te Curling Connection

“BASOC’s mission is to principally promote, and bid on, international

and national sporting events as well as the Olympic Games for the San Francisco Bay Area. A few years ago, in the course of carrying out that mis- sion, I met the folks from the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition (headed by Jon Killoran who oversees the operations of the Continental Cup),” ex- plains Cribbs.

4UPSZ CZ #SBE 8IJUMPDL t Curling News writer 12 ))

Te Opening Ceremonies were inspiring. I remember walking through the tunnel into the stadium. It was so hot and we had on wool blazers and skirts. An audience of 110,000 burst into cheers

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