Polo itching to make comeback in Omaha
Minnesota thrower can't wait to take to the ice again after lengthy injury break
Olympic gold medal winner Joe Polo is looking forward to relieving five months of frustration when he links up with Tabitha Peterson to represent United States in the mixed doubles in Omaha.
Polo underwent shoulder surgery in July and missed the first part of the season as he went through a laborious rehabilitation process.
However, his recovery will coincide perfectly with the Curling World Cup second leg from 5-9 December, where he and Peterson will resume their partnership in front of a home crowd in the Nebraskan city.
“I have been on the injured reserve for the first part of the season so I didn’t get on the ice until late October. Let’s just say I will be fresh and ready to go for Omaha!” commented the 35-year-old.
Polo and Peterson, who are both from Minnesota, first hooked up on the ice in early 2016 and won a bronze medal at that year’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Karlstad, Sweden.
In Omaha, they will aim to go one better than compatriots Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin managed in the Curling World Cup first leg in Suzhou, where they lost 7-3 to Canada in the final.
Polo said: “Playing at home in front of our own crowd will be great. I hope the fans bring a lot of energy to the building.
“Canada obviously has plenty of talent to go around but I feel like we have put together a pretty good trio of teams. I like our chances to compete for the championship.”
United States have been drawn in Group B of the mixed doubles alongside China, Russia and Norway's bronze medal-winning pair from PyeongChang, Kristin Skaslien and Marcus Nedregotten.
“I like the look of the draw. It will be a good challenge matching up with the Olympic bronze medalists,” reflected Polo, who won Olympic gold in the men’s event this year as alternate for Team John Shuster.
Peterson is well aware of the intricacies of the Curling World Cup after she competed for Team Roth in the women’s event in Suzhou. She has already filled Polo in on what the new series is all about.
“I heard it was a fun event and I am looking forward to playing this format,” said Polo. “We typically play fast so I don’t think the new timing rules will change our game. One or two more quick decisions during the game will help out a bunch.”
Peterson and Polo begin their campaign in Omaha with the first of those two intriguing matches against Skaslien and Nedregotten at 18:30 on Wednesday 5 December.
- Five days of action get under way on 5 December at 1500 at Omaha’s 4,400-capacity Ralston Arena. Tickets are available for individual sessions or you can buy an ‘All Sessions Package’ covering all 11 sessions - including the women’s, men’s and mixed doubles finals on Sunday 9 December. For all ticket information click here and the official Curling World Cup hotel reservation site is here.