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Fairview’s Katie Murphy measures out a shot during the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland. Katie and the U.S. team finished 1-4 in the group stage but failed to qualify for the knockout round.

Katie Murphy will never forget her time in Lausanne, Switzerland. The 17-year-old Fairview High School senior, who recently returned from the Youth Olympics, said despite her curling team’s 1-4 record, the experience was incredible.

“It was really cool,” Katie said. “It was a lot of our first times (on the national stage). I’m very lucky that (my family came). I’m very lucky to have (them) there and support me. After games that I was happy about winning or sad about losing, it was nice to go and give my parents a hug afterward.”

Katie’s mother, Jen Murphy, described the atmosphere and watching her daughter compete as “powerful.”

“If you would’ve asked me before they went, I would have said it was really about the competition,” Murphy said. “After coming back, it really wasn’t at all about the competition. It was about the experience that she got. I think she represented our country really well.”

In the group stage, the U.S. curling team beat Latvia before dropping close matches to the Czech Republic, Sweden and Italy. The team was soundly defeated by Japan, and Katie said she’s never seen curlers that talented. Japan went on to win silver, behind gold-medal-winning Norway.

Following pool play, Katie was paired up with a Canadian for mixed-doubles competition. Katie said she was excited about this part of the Youth Olympics and her experience didn’t disappoint.

“I was kind of hoping I’d get a language barrier and coincidently I got paired up with somebody with not much of a language barrier,” Katie said. “It did live up to everything. It was so much fun. He was an instant best friend. He was such a good teammate and I’m extremely lucky to have gotten paired up with him.”

Katie’s attention now shifts to the future. She plans to continue curling and hopes to once again find her way to the Olympics.

“Not winning a medal here made me more hungry to win a medal at the real Olympics.” she said. “That is still the dream. In the short term, I’m looking to go to nationals in March with my girls team and I’m hoping that we’ll medal and do well. Just keep working my butt off so I can make it to the Olympics.”

Contact this reporter at jkopanski@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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