- Associated Press - Monday, August 26, 2019

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) - The national governing body for curling in the United States is getting a new leader.

Rick Patzke (PAT’-skey) will step down as CEO of the United States Curling Association next month. Rich Lepping, who was the chairman of the organization’s board of directors, has been named interim CEO.

With help from Patzke, curling club membership in the U.S. has ballooned from about 10,000 in 2002 to nearly 26,000 curlers today at more than 180 clubs in 44 states.

There are more than 125 hours of curling on American TV each year, surpassing 600 hours during the 2018 Olympic year. The American men’s team won the gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games, only the second curling medal ever for the U.S.

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