Vicky Persinger steps back from Team USA Women’s Curling
Continuing Mixed Doubles with Plys
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Fairbanks Olympian, Vicky Persinger, has announced she is taking one step back from her busy curling schedule by taking herself off the USA Curling Women’s National Team.
“I stepped away from women’s curling for the time being to focus more on mixed doubles curling,” stated Persinger. “Part of that is just the difficulty of doing two disciplines at one time while commuting from Alaska and trying to do all the other fun things in life. I’m giving myself a break while staying in the mix.”
Persinger knew that one discipline of curling was going to be the sacrifice in order to free up time in her schedule, rather than relocating to the contiguous United States to eliminate the thousands of miles travelled. Living in Alaska has been a priority for Vicky throughout her career.
“I know I don’t want to move,” said Vicky. “I did it when I was younger. I have a house, my family, my dog, and friends. This is where I want to be, so that was never really an option.”
When Vicky knew this was the step she was going to make in her curling career, she called each of her teammates individually to let them know her decision. Vicky said, “I let them know that it wasn’t about the team. It was just some personal things that I wanted to take more time to do. They all understood, and there were no hard feelings.” Persinger also joked that she might make herself available if they need someone to fill in.
While choosing to focus on her mixed doubles career, Vicky didn’t let her current teammate, Chris Plys, influence her decision making. Plys and Persinger hold a close friendship off the sheet too.
“He totally understood when I told him I was only going to do one discipline,” noted Persinger. “I didn’t know if he still wanted to play with me because I wouldn’t be getting as much ice time, but he definitely still wanted to play with me. So, that’s good!” Plys is also a member of the USA Curling Men’s National Team, while completely unrelated choices, he will remain active on Team Shuster.
Many people might have an easy time overlooking the mental toll competing at the highest level takes on any athlete, no matter the sport. Vicky acknowledged her accomplishments are a topic of conversations with many people, and how people look up to her for inspiration. The Olympian gave her advice to those that might feel they need a change in life, but lack the courage to do so.
“There’s only so much time, passion, and energy you can give to something before it might burn you out. Sometimes, you just need to take that break, take a step back and look at what’s important,” she explained. “Make sure to focus on what’s important, because some things you don’t get back... We’re all out here doing as much as we can. It’s a fast-paced world and making sure you’re taking care of yourself is important no matter what you’re doing in life.”
With the free time Persinger will now afford in her schedule, she plans on spending more time with friends and family. Her dad, Ken, has been teaching her how to run some rivers. She also mentioned an interest in earning her pilot’s license, and exploring more of the state she calls home.
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