Jan. 30, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- Former Wisconsin golfer Erika Brown (1993-96) is used to the term, world-class. As a curler, she has been a member of three Olympic teams and will lead her own Erika Brown Rink in the 2014 Sochi Games.
The Madison, Wis., native has also been a member of numerous national teams and won a silver medal at the 1996 and 1999 World Curling Championships. She has been named the USCA female curler of the year three times.
In the summer she trades the ice for the golf course where she was a four-year letterwinner for the Badgers leading them in scoring her senior season with 81.39 strokes per round. She was a member of UW's only Big Ten championship team in 1994.
Brown was second on the team in scoring as a junior with 79.73 strokes per round and set her career marks for 18 (72), 36 (150) and 54-holes (230). She won the 1994 Madison City Women's Tournament with a 234. She came to UW-Madison as a two-time WIAA state champion in 1989 and 1990, and a three-time Wisconsin PGA junior champion.
Starting curling at the tender age of eight at her dad's curling club in Madison, Brown soon became an avid and expert curler. Her team was the first women's team to medal at three consecutive World Championships winning the sliver in 1992, bronze in 1993 and silver in 1994. She was selected as the United State Olympic Committee Female Curling Athlete of the Year in 1993-94. At age 15, she was the youngest member of the 1988 Olympic team in Calgary.
Her golf game developed alongside her curling, where fortunately the sports are in different seasons. But if there were conflicts, then-Badger golf coach Dennis Tiziani supported Brown's world-class curling endeavors.
Brown says there are similarities between the two sports. "Both of them [require] being able to repeat a motion over and over and make adjustments based on a particular shot and fine-tuning it. And then, they both take a long time. They're both slow, slow sports, with a lot of time to think. You have to manage your mental space during a round of golf or during a curling game, which can last about three hours."
Brown graduated with distinction from UW in 1996 with degrees in political science and women's studies. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, a 1995 CoSIDA Academic District All-American, and was named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar team.
She became a physician's assistant and married another world-class curler, three-time world champion Ian Tetley. They make their home in Oakland, Ontario, Canada. She is the mother of two boys aged five and seven and a step-mother to another.
After four decades in the sport, what will it be like attending her third Olympics 26 years after her first? She told ESPNW in an interview, ""I don't think I fully appreciated what was happening at 15 years old," Brown said. "Being able to go again in 1998, and then working all these years to get back to the Olympics, this is the culmination of years of hard work."
Curling has always been a family affair for the Brown family, and the Olympics will be no different. Her father, Steve, will be coaching the U.S. Paralympic wheelchair curling team in Sochi and her brother is on the U.S.A men's Olympic curling team as an alternate.
The women's first rounds of curling in Sochi begin February 10. The schedule is here.
Brown's Curling Bio (Courtesy USA Curling)
Born: Jan 25, 1973
in Madison, Wisconsin
Resides: Oakville, Ontario
Profession: Physician Assistant, Stonechurch Family Medical Centre
College/University: University of Wisconsin
In Own Words:
Brown is also an accomplished golfer; she was Wisconsin State High School champion in 1990 and 1989, was on the University of Wisconsin 1994 Big Ten Championship team
She completed graduate school in the physician assistant program at Finch University of Health Sciences
* U.S. Olympic Team - Curling: 1998, 1988 (5th)
* U.S. National Championships: 2010 (champion) 2007 (bronze), 2006, 2005 (3rd), 2004 (champion), 2003 (runner-up); 2002 (champion), 2001 (runner-up), 2000 (runner-up), 1999 (champion), 1998 (3rd), 1997 (3rd), 1996 (champion), 1995 (champion), 1993 (3rd), 1991 (runner-up)
* World Championships: 2010 (5th) 2004 (4th), 2002 (7th), 1999 (silver), 1996 (silver), 1995 (5th)
* U.S. Olympic Team Trials ï¿½ Curling: 2006 (3rd), 2002 (runner-up); 1998, ï¿½92, ï¿½88 (champion each year)
* Continental Cup: 2011 (champion) 2004 (champion), 2002 (champion)
* U.S. Mixed Nationals: 2000 (champion)
* USCA Female Curler of the Year: 2004, 1994, 1989
* USCA Team of the Year: 2004, 1999
* Junior Nationals: 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1989, 1988 (champion each year); 1990 (bronze)
* Junior Worlds: 1994 (silver), 1993 (bronze), 1992 (silver), 1991 (5th), 1989 (5th), 1988 (7th)