The Olympic trials for mixed doubles curling will be held in Eveleth next month.
USA Curling announced Monday it has relocated the 2022 Olympic trials from Irvine, California, to the Curl Mesabi Curling Club in Eveleth, Minnesota, due to COVID-19 concerns.
The decision comes after it was determined the venue in California isn't conducive to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and the highly contagious delta variant, USA Curling said in a news release.
"Venue access, combined with an overwhelming concern for the delta variant and the goal to mitigate the extent of travel required for the majority of participants, led to a decision that prioritizes the health and safety of participants, volunteers, coaches, and staff," USA Curling said.
The event will be held Oct. 26-31 at the Curl Mesabi Curling Club in Eveleth. Teams will be competing for the chance to represent Team USA in Beijing in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
“While bringing curling to new and excited markets across the country is our passion, safety must always remain our priority,” USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush said in the release. “Athletes have been training for four years to compete to become Team USA, and it is our obligation to ensure they can compete without added risk or worry by creating the safest conditions possible.”
USA Curling says it'll rent out the Curl Mesabi Curling Club for the month of October to ensure "full control of the facility and management of entry points."
Plush said USA Curling hopes to bring curling to Southern California "in the near future," noting the area has a passion for the sport.
USA Curling coach Phill Drobnick, who is from Eveleth, tweeted Monday that he's excited the trials will be in Eveleth, and he has "no doubt" the Iron Range will "put on a great show."
The trials for the men's and woman's curling teams are being held Nov. 12-21 in Omaha, Nebraska, where they'll compete for a chance to represent the United States in Beijing in 2022.