Despite not making the podium, Team USA records its best-ever finish with a fourth place at the 2012 World Mixed Doubles Championship in Erzurum, Turkey on April 29, 2012. The Americans lost to Team Austria's Christian Roth and Claudia Roth with a score of 12-7. In the gold medal game, Team Switzerland earned the win and the gold over Team Sweden.
The American husband and wife team of Brady and Cristin Clark of Lynwood, Washington, were hoping to better their seventh place finish at the world championship last year in St. Paul, Minnesota. They were hoping for a podium finish. The championship in 2011 was the first time the U.S. had ever even made to the playoffs. The bronze game found them taking on Team Austria, who had also never won a medal at the world level in this event.
Austria opened the match with a deuce but the Americans came back in the second with four points. Austria bounced right back in the third with another deuce and a tie at 4-4. Brady Clark was limited to a single in the fourth. But Austria had the stones on their side and scored four points in the fifth. The Americans were able to score a deuce in the sixth but Austria came back in the seventh to score another four and a score of 12-7. At this point, the Americans conceded the match.
After the match, Brady Clark said, "We hope to continue to improve and learn some lessons from this year, and hopefully win the U.S. another time and come back to improve our rankings. We had opportunities. We wish we could have medalled. It is what it is. It was a great championship, and congratulations to the Swiss.
"Well, it's better than last year. I guess we were seventh last year and now we're fourth," said Cristin Clark.
The win by Switzerland marks their fourth gold medal win since the event began world championships in 2008. The 2013 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship will be held April 13-20 in the new Grant-Harvey Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Resource: Press Release from USCO
Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and avid sports and Olympics fan. She is learning the sport of curling and has already fallen in love. She now works as a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the Olympics and NFL and brings her love of sports to her writing. To follow her curling experiences as they begin, follow her on Twitter @fwcdeborah.