Vicky Persinger, Fairbanks Olympian

Persinger Qualifies for First Career Olympic Games
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 10:09 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Vicky Persinger, born and raised in Fairbanks, is preparing for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. Persinger and her mixed doubles curling partner, Chris Plys, will represent Team USA in the upcoming winter games. Not only will Persinger represent Team USA, but she will also be one of the select few in history to represent Alaska in the Olympics.

“We just come from an awesome group of people. I think we’re such a resilient group of people, and we’re super driven,” Persinger said as she held back tears. “That’s why I’m so proud to be from here and represent this state, our city, and our country.”

Persinger has been around a curling sheet, for as long as she could remember, and is a third-generation curler within the Persinger family. Now, Persinger is playing on the biggest stage possible. She has qualified for the Olympics, but the road there wasn’t easy.

Heartbreaking losses in Persinger’s career put questions in her mind on whether or not she should continue on this path or focus on something else, but her family always encouraged her to keep going. “They’ve never let me really even falter in trying to strive for this goal,” Persinger said on how her family influenced and encouraged her.

Persinger claimed her father, Ken, as one of her biggest supporters. “I think as you get older, you don’t want to tell them (children) what their path should be,” said Ken Persinger. “I sure am glad she chose this one because she’s now an Olympian.”

Now that Vicky has obtained status of being an Olympian, it was inevitable that more attention and spotlight would come her way, but she handles it extremely even-keeled. Her sister Tina summed it up perfectly with two words that describes how her sister in handling everything that has come and will come her way through February, “Humility and Grace.”

Although curling has a prominent establishment in the Fairbanks community, geographically speaking, Fairbanks might not have been the most efficient place to live while training and competing on a national level. Regardless of the travel challenges Persinger might face, she has held firm to her Fairbanks roots.

“I would really have a hard time moving away from Alaska because this is home for me,” said Persinger. “It makes it extra special that I’ve worked so hard to get here while still living here and not changing who I am or how I was raised. The combination of those things have become tools that Persinger has used to get her to the point she is today.

Persinger made a quick stop in Fairbanks before returning back to the contiguous forty-eight states to continue her curling competitions, and many people came to the Fairbanks Curling Club to show their support for Vicky.

“I feel like in Fairbanks if you don’t curl, you definitely know what curling is,” said personal family-friend Kelly Snider. “I think that all of Fairbanks is in the curling community even if they don’t curl, which means, this is really important for all of us.

Curling is undoubtedly important to this community. Many people flooded the Fairbanks Curling Club to celebrate and send off Persinger. The people that came out were many family members that also curl, but it also included people that care about the curling community in Fairbanks very much and have all played a crucial part in making these curlers successful.

Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys will start their mixed doubles Olympic competition on February second with hopes of playing on February eighth when the “medal games” of the mixed doubles tournament take place.

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