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      Ontario Curling Tour
    Developing Grassroots Competitive Curling
    Steven Birklid
Age: 33
Birthplace: Fairbanks, Alaska
Resides: Seattle, Washington
Throws: Right
Profession: Business Owner, FastSigns north Seattle
High School: Lathrop HS - Fairbanks, AK
College/University: University of Alaska Fairbanks
In Own Words:
Alaskan transplant living in Seattle.

Curling Highlights:
* U.S. Men's National Championships: 2003, 2002
* Alaska Men's Champion: 2002, 2003

Junior Highlights:
* Junior Men's Worlds: 2002 (8th)
* U.S. Junior Men's National Championships: 2005 (semifinalist), 2004 (6th), 2002 (champion), 2001, 2000
* Junior Men's State Championships: 2004 (1st), 2003 (2nd), 2002 (1st)

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Questions and Answers

Who\What introduced you to Curling?
Been curling since I was 3 years old. My parents met through curling, so I've been around it from day 1.

Do you have any pre-game superstitions or rituals?
Just stretching, but nothing special.

What is your career highlight to date?
Junior National Champion 2002

What is one shot you would like to try again?
Down 2 with, coming home against ND in Junior Nat's in 2004. We were both 5-2 and playing to lock up a playoff spot. Had a choice to draw the rings to tie, or a relatively tough split to win. We played the split, and I missed it heavy, so we scored the single and lost. Then we lost our next game, and then the tiebreaker game and missed the playoffs. I would like that one back.

Who was influential in your curling development?
My dad, Ron. Fairbanks Club members Bill Kind, Steve Shuttleworth, Ken Persinger, and Bill Gryder. Teammates Chris Benshoof and Colin Hufman.

What is your favourite sport other then curling?
I follow baseball loosely, football loosely, and I'm trying to get into hockey.

What is your most embarrassing moment on the curling ice?
I don't embarrass easily.

What is your earliest curling memory?
Curling in Little Rockers at about 7 years old against (and losing to, constantly) Colin Hufman.

What kind of Training Regimen do you follow?
Team practices once a week, individual 1 once beyond that. I follow the 5-3-1 workout regimen. Squat, deadlift, bench and shoulder presses, with supplemental lifts for each main lift.

What are your curling strengths?
Confidence, positivity, and having an idea of how the end will look in 3-4-5 shots.

What are your curling weaknesses?
As a skip I was a little too aggressive, and as a third I could reign in the options that I present to my skip. Sometimes simpler is better, but I just like to make sure people have all the information before deciding, since that's how I like to operate myself.

What kind of goals have you set for yourself?
Some team statistical goals (hammer/force efficiency etc), +/- rates versus my opposing position, fitness goals, and I'm working on not dwelling on mistakes, mine or others.

Do others in your Family curl?
My brother is on my team for this year, my Mom and Dad met through curling, and my sister has won her share of competitive bonspiels as well.

What do you enjoy most about curling?
The feeling you get when you make the shot that breaks open a really tightly fought game.

What have you learned through curling?
How to constantly be adapting to ever-changing situations, and make little adjustments from iteration to iteration.

What would you like others to know about curling?
You can get out of curling whatever you want to. Just decide what you want it to be for you and take action to that end. It won't disappoint.

Most memorable curling experience?
Winning the Fairbanks International Bonspiel back-to-back years with four of my best friends.

Who is your greatest competitor?
This question is worded horribly. Do they mean who is my greatest competition? Who do I think is the greatest competitor? Who competes the greatest in my name?

Who is your curling rival?
Friendly rival - Jim Sias of Whitehorse Unfriendly rival - Pat Paslawski, also of Whitehorse

Who are your favourite athlete/heros?
Athletes - Barry Zito, Jamaal Charles, Jordan (before I found out how much of a douche he is). Heros - Nate Ruess, Colin Hufman, Jennifer Lawrence, My dad.

What other sports do you play?
Used to play baseball semi-competitively. Now mostly just lawn games.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I was a professional Magic: The Gathering player for a few years.

What is the best advice you've ever received?
"Focus only on what matters" - Jon Finkel

Name one thing that's in your bucket list?
Visit the Irish countryside.

What sporting event would you most like to attend?
World Series Game 7

What do you wish you were better at?

Person past or present you would most like to have dinner with?
this answer changes from time to time, but right now, it's Robin Williams

What is your favourite movie?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What are your favourite television shows?
Ed; Parks & Rec; Breaking Bad; Friends; Scrubs; The West Wing; Homeland

What is your favourite music? Groups?
fun.; The Format; Motion City Soundtrack; TSwizzle, Sara Bareilles

Where would you like to spend a week's vacation?
Ireland / Scotland

What hobbies do you have?
Magic: the Gathering, Netflix, board games (not the monopoly kind, more like intense strategy games)

Any Nicknames?
Fteve; The Wizard

What's your Education background?
High School, some college

What is your favourite food?
Hot Dogs, not even close. After moving to Seattle and living with my wife (who is an excellent chef) for 6 years now, you'd think this might have changed, but some things never change. HotDogz4Lyfe.

Something special about your home town?
Summertime on the roof of the curling club. It's my favorite place on planet earth, and it's where I got married. And saw my dad the most wasted I've ever seen him.

Something unique about yourself?
I have a strong knack for being able to logically get people through emotional situations.

Which cartoon character best represents your personality?

Who is your favourite book?
Harry Potter series

Coolest city you've lived in?
Seattle, WA

What is your favourite colour?
Pink. Yes, really.

Any interesting travel experiences?
I've been to Berlin, Yokohama, Paris, Barcelona, and Honolulu twice for Magic: the Gathering tournaments. Traveled to Italy for 10 days in middle school.

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