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Baxter Arena prepares for curling Olympic trials

Posted at 5:47 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 18:47:07-05

Curling has been gaining in popularity over the last decade and it turns out, an Omaha city council member and his family are fixtures in the curling scene.

Right now Baxter Arena is being transformed to make way for hundreds of people from all across the country to come here to Omaha for the curling U.S. Olympic trials. Crews are putting the last touches to the floor just in time for hundreds to prove they are the best in the nation to represent the U.S. in the Winter Olympics.

“It's always been a fascinating sport to me,” said Sean Morrison who joined Aksarben Curling a year ago after years of watching the sport on TV.

“I like to think of it as a perfect combination between like physical and mental,” said Morrison.

He's excited to see the pros of the sport compete in his hometown, “It's fantastic to see people at the peak of their sport participate and perform so being able to watch athletes perform at this caliber--literally the world stage participating here locally is absolutely amazing,” said Morrison.

Also a huge fan of the sport is Councilman Pete Festersen who grew up curling with his family.

“We all competed nationally and my mother did compete on the international stage in Scotland, where this sport originated with some of her teammates to so it's pretty much been a family thing for many years,” said Festersen.

He went to nationals four times and placed as high as 4th one of the years.

“I used to be better than I am now but it is a bit like riding a bike. I played last Sunday and it felt good and the motion felt good,” said Festersen.

He will throw out the first stone on Saturday and said he's proud the city will once again be in the Olympic spotlight, “We'll be one of the few cities that have hosted Olympic trials not only on the water but now also on the ice.”

With many eyes on this sport next week, Morrison hopes this also gets more people interested in curling, “We're really expecting this to be a real springboard to bigger and better things and being able to expand to other audiences as well.”

The events start at Baxter Arena on Saturday.

For tickets go to or call Baxter Arena (844) 425-5535, or email at

 If you want to join the local curling club click here: