Magazine article Newsweek

The Olympics: Time to Meet the Johnsons

Magazine article Newsweek

The Olympics: Time to Meet the Johnsons

Article excerpt

Byline: Bret Begun

In the month after the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the roughly 140 U.S. curling clubs welcomed about 5,000 newcomers, reports the U.S. Curling Association. Since then, membership's up 15 to 20 percent. So there you have it--the numbers to justify any curling coverage before February's Olympics in Turin, Italy.

But let's be honest. This article wouldn't be published in early November if not for sisters Cassie and Jamie Johnson. Yes, they're top curlers: the Bemidji, Minn.-based team (which also includes Jessica Schultz, Maureen Brunt and Courtney George) won silver at the world championships last March, making them favored to medal in Turin. But the sisters are also--let's just say it--young and pretty and, therefore, very marketable. "If we get attention for our age and things like that at first, that's fine," says Cassie, 24, the team's skip (player-manager) and a fourth-generation curler. …

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