CONTINENTAL CUP Tere was reason to have the two organizations work together (spear-

headed by Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki of Nevada) since San Francisco could be the port of entry for Games being conducted in the Reno-Tahoe area, Tahoe is close to San Francisco, and work being done by both organizations could be beneficial to the other. Meanwhile, Rick Patzke, now CEO of USA Curling, was seeking a way

to hold a curling event in Las Vegas. Add in Warren Hansen and Curling Canada providing their own vision to hold a curling event with a Las Vegas flair, and an unbeatable team was ready to meet with Te Orleans Hotel, Boyd Gaming, and the Las Vegas Tourism folks. Te result was the first Continental Cup held in the U.S. in 2014. “I knew a little about curling before getting involved in the Cup, hav-

ing crossed paths with Ann Swisshelm (two-time Olympic curler.) And, my husband’s father was a curler. He was from Scotland and talked a lot about curling,” Cribbs explains. “I’m not up on the intricacies, but I know more than I did four years

ago! I have the greatest respect for those that curl given the preciseness and skill required. You can curl a long time if you keep in shape. But I also love the interaction between the athletes and the fans. It is amazing,” marvels Cribbs. Her respect for curling continues off the ice, where she has been a force

to deal with at the Continental Cup, organizing and supervising the opera- tions of more than 100 volunteers each year at the Cup.

“Te curling fans are great fans. Tis is why I love to work with the volun-

teers. Tey are so joyful about coming here and they love being part of this and being involved,” she boasts of her happy Continental Cup crew. “We’ve gotten great suggestions and we’ve built on their suggestions every year. It’s a big deal to come and volunteer for all those days. ” “Te culture of the curling community is one of the greatest I’ve ever I’ve had a lot of experience with the swimming community volun- y p


teers who are very passionate. I also work with USA Track and Field, Se- nior Games, and other events. I think people who love sports, and who can help the next generation, enjoy being part of a sporting family. Maybe with curling it’s because the fans can get so close to the game and the players don’t brush it off – they enjoy the connection and encourage it. Te players interacting with the fans is really great, not to mention the sportsmanship that the players show each other. It’s not unique to curling but it is certainly highlighted in curling.”

s w o are v . I a o w k w h USA T k and F , S Decades of Accomplishments In the years since her Rome appearance, Cribbs and her late husband,

Ian, raised nine children and she now has “20+” grandchildren. Ian was a staunch supporter of women’s rights and advocacy. Cribbs (not surprisingly given the way her Olympic career ended) has been a strong, pioneering ad- vocate for women’s sports through the years. She definitely knows her way around the sporting arena. In addition to

being a championship swimmer (she won gold medals in the 200m breast- stroke at the 1959 Pan-Am Games and the 4x100m medley relay at the 1960 Olympic Games), she has been involved in efforts involving basketball, ping pong, golf, track and field, and now curling (among many others.) You may have heard of, or even witnessed, one of her endeavors outside of

swimming. She is one of three people who co-founded the women’s Ameri- can Basketball League (ABL). Going up against the mighty NBA eventually proved too much for the fledgling ABL, but the tone was set for more op- portunities for women going forward. Te Olympic Spirit

Troughout the years, Cribbs has maintained her Olympic connections.

Regardless of the sport involved, what gets her eyes to light up is Olympic talk – what it represents, the athletes involved, and the programs she orga- nizes and runs. When it comes right down to it, it’s not the specific sport that matters for Cribbs – spreading the Olympic spirit and ideals is what’s important to her. “Olympians come in all different sizes – they are tall, they’re short, they

have big muscles, or not. Tey all, I think, believe it’s important to have a dream, to work hard for that dream, to never give up, and to be persistent. And, lastly, know that there is always another race in life,” she summarizes. “Tose Olympic ideals have stood me in good stead and most Olympi-

ans share that common bond. It doesn’t matter how old, you’ve shared that same experience of representing your country while doing something that you love to do,” she adds. Tese days she is especially excited about athlete reunions that she spear-

Team North America once again prevailed over Team World as the 2017 WFG Continental Cup came to a close on Jan. 15 at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Team North America included Americans (back, l-r) Captain Debbie McCormick, Alex Carlson, Vicky Persinger, Heath McCormick, Chris Plys, (front, l-r) Jamie Sinclair, Monica Walker, Tom Howell, and Korey Dropkin. North America defeated Team World, 37-23, in the four- day event. See full story in bonus pages of the digital edition. Photo by Steve Seixeiro for USA Curling

heads. She is particularly proud of the Olympian/Paralympian reunions, held in 2008 and 2016, which she organized in Las Vegas. “We were able to do a wonderful gathering of U.S. Olympians as far back as 1948 all the way to the present,” she says. If she had been a Winter Olympian instead of a Summer Olympian,

Cribbs could easily have been a curler instead of a swimmer. Never mind that curling wasn’t a sanctioned Olympic sport in 1960. Cribbs probably would have taken care of that, too, as she seems able to do anything she puts her mind to. “Aſter all,” Cribbs says with a grin, “it’s still water, it’s just frozen.” Q

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