FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 2, 2010
Olympic Coach Bob Fenson inducted into USA Curling Hall of Fame
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Bob Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) has been a significant part of USA Curling's history on and off the ice throughout his 40-plus career with the sport. That storied career has been affirmed as Fenson was inducted into the USA Curling Hall of Fame this fall in the builder category.
"It's a great honor to be inducted into the USCA Hall of Fame, and I feel privileged to be in the company of the other inductees," Fenson said. "It's amazing to be given an award for something I enjoy so much."
Fenson, 64, coached son Pete Fenson to curling's first Olympic medal in 2006 when Pete's team defeated Great Britain for the bronze medal in Torino, Italy. But, his career began much further back than that storied day.
"The two most instrumental people in getting me involved in curling were my aunt, Norma Olson, who introduced me to the game in 1960 when I was 13 years old, and my father, Walt, who also encouraged me to play," Fenson said. "I really value and appreciate all the people I've met and friendships I've made through curling. It's not difficult to give some back to something I've enjoyed my whole life. It's great to be part of the curling family.
As an athlete, Fenson played in five National Championships, winning the title in 1979. He also won the U.S. Senior Nationals in 2003 and brought home a silver medal from the World Senior Championships that season.
His resume as a coach is extensive ranging from junior national championships to the Olympic Games. Fenson coached at the Men's and Women's National Championships just about every season from 1990-2006 and at many Junior National Championships with teams from Minnesota over the years. He also coached at five Men's World Championship events, the 2000 Women's World Championship, five World Junior Championships, the Olympic Trials, and most notably, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. He was twice named USA Curling's Coach of the Year (2006, 1997).
"A couple of great memories I have as an athlete are my participation in the 1979 Men's World Championship (Silver Broom) in Bern, Switzerland, and the 2003 Senior Men's World Championship in Winnipeg, where we finished second," Fenson said. "Of course, I have great memories of competing with and against other curlers at all levels that have shared my love and passion for the game. As a coach, I've really enjoyed being able to work with teams, both junior and adult, and coaching them to world and Olympic competitions. It's been rewarding to see the progress they've made at all levels."
Fenson has given back to the sport of curling in other leadership capacities as well. He was president of USA Curling during the 2003-04 season and a member of its Board of Directors from 1992-2008. He also served as a USA Curling representative to the World Curling Federation. He also served on the board for the Minnesota Curling Association for nearly three decades, twice serving as its president.
Fenson's curling and coaching career came to a screeching halt on Nov. 1, 2008, when Fenson suffered a stroke. He spent three weeks in the neurological unit at Meritcare Hospital in Fargo, N.D., then two months in a nursing home in Bemidji, followed by two months in the local hospital rehab unit in Bemidji.
Fenson has been rehabbing since and still enjoys watching curling at his hometown Bemidji Curling Club where he can be heard discussing strategy and recalling curling memories. He has not regained use of his right arm and wears a brace on his right leg and uses a cane.
"We are happy he can walk some, even though it is short distances. We go to a local facility two or three times a week to exercise, and we get him out to do things as much as possible. It is a different life for us, and we do things differently, but we are blessed by so many wonderful family members and friends so life is good," said his wife, Jan Fenson.
The USA Curling Hall of Fame is house at the national office in Stevens Point, Wis. It includes 39 individuals and two teams. Individuals can be nominated in three categories - as a curler, as a builder of the sport or as a curler/builder. The Athlete/Curler Recognition Committee oversees the selection of inductees.
USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Nike, AtomAmpd, Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, RAM Brewery & Restaurant, and is partnered with CurlingZone.com.
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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org
, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).