BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. -- Andrew Stopera, a Briarcliff Manor resident, is continuing his amazing curling run.
Stopera and his team won the junior national title at the 2017 USA Curling Junior National Championships last week in Fargo. By winning, Stopera is representing the US at the World Junior Championships in South Korea from Feb. 16 to Feb. 26.
It was a patient and methodical strategy that clinched the junior national title for Andrew Stopera’s team this afternoon as the 2017 USA Curling Junior National Championships came to a close at the Fargo-Moorhead Curling Club in Fargo, N.D.
Stopera, 19-year-old who attends Northwestern University, will be making his first appearance the World Junior Championships. He finished third at last year's Junior Nationals.
"Winning the national championships was an incredible experience," Stopera said. It's hard to fully process what I've done and put into words how this feels because it's surreal to win a championship you've been training for a lengthy part of your life."
For Stopera, the win was a long time coming. He lost in the finals in 2014 and 2015
"I've put in hours of practice, physical, and mental training but before this past week, I hadn't reached my goal of being a national champion," Stopera said. "To finally win the championship, especially after looking back at the hard work my team and I have put it over the past year, is really special."
Stopera said he is really looking forward to curling in South Korea, having never curled outside of North America. Stopera will be playing at venues that will be used in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"Not too many people get to play at a facility like the one we'll be playing at so I'm really looking forward to it and being around the aura of the Olympics, a competition I hope to play in one day," Stopera said. [It's] going to be unbelievable. Even writing about makes me wish the World Championships were already here. "