Six questions with Stretch Authority Member, and USA Curling’s Andie McDonald.
Tell us about your journey as a curling athlete? How did you get started in this sport, and what inspired you to pursue it at a competitive level?
I started curling 10 years ago because of my dad. My dad is a paralympic athlete and has competed in two paralympic games for Team USA. His time on Team USA brought our family to Wisconsin to continue his curling career. I started curling when we moved there in the hopes of following in his footsteps. He is my inspiration for curling and has been with me every step of the way. As a young athlete learning how to curl, I was very fortunate to have other well-accomplished curlers to look up to and learn from. With these experiences, I wanted to continue a curling career and be a competitive athlete.
How have you been preparing for the upcoming national tournament, and what are your goals for the competition?
I have been preparing for this event by practicing weekly on my curling skills, I have also been working on my stamina for this week-long event. My goals for this event are to compete at the highest level and also for our team to make it to the semi-finals, in hopes of competing in the finals.
What do you think sets you apart from other curling athletes, and how do you use that to your advantage during competitions?
I think what sets me apart from other curlers is the personal knowledge I have learned from Olympic-level curlers. I also think that because I am a younger curler I see the strategy in a different way and can use that as an advantage.
Can you share with us some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a curling athlete, and how you’ve overcome them?
I think one of the biggest challenges I have faced is being a young curler competing at a high level. There have been times when I have not been seen as a competition because of my age as well as not being valued in my experience. I have overcome these obstacles by proving my ability and showing that I am committed to becoming a better athlete and curler.
How has being a curling athlete impacted other areas of your life, such as your career, relationships, or personal growth?
Being a competitive curler has impacted my life in various ways. I am a student-athlete that also works, with these other aspects in my life I have become organized with my time and try to pursue a work-life balance. As a curler, I have to sacrifice other aspects of my life to pursue competitive curling but it has made me a better athlete and I have grown as a leader in my school-related aspects. I have also created lifelong relationships through curling that has influenced my personal growth and growth as a curler.
What would you say to other athletes who are considering trying Professional Assisted Stretching for the first time? Are there any particular tips or pieces of advice you would give them?
I would suggest assisted stretching to other athletes because it allows a different kind of movement and stretches that can not normally be achieved by stretching by yourself. I have really enjoyed my appointments, the stretch expert has always made me feel comfortable and checks my comfort level on each stretch. I would suggest being open-minded in the stretches, they may seem ordinary but they are enhanced due to them being performed by another person.
See More on Andie’s Dad, Patrick McDonald, World Champion Paralympic Curler Watch Now.