Dudt qualified as a member of Team Strouse (Delaney Strouse, Anne O'Hara, Sydney Mullaney, Becca Rodgers and Dudt), which secured its berth by earning the most World Curling Federation (WCF) World Team Ranking points in two pre-Olympic Trials events, including winning the Mayfield Curling Club qualifier in Ohio last month. Team Strouse will begin its double round robin, best-of-three trials competition at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13. All of the trials competition will be televised on NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports App and the NBC Sports Network.
Dudt's brother and Bucknell mechanical engineering graduate Daniel Dudt '17 has also qualified to compete in the men's U.S. Olympic Trials, where he is coached by fellow Bucknell graduate Bruce Clouser '80, P'13. Daniel and Susan Dudts' grandfather helped found the Philadelphia Curling Club in 1957.
Susan, a graduate of Great Valley High School and member of the Philadelphia Curling Club, took up curling at age 5. She and her team won the Junior National Championship competition last year, earning them a spot on the USA Junior National Team. They'll compete for Team USA at the World Junior-B Championships, held Jan. 3-12 in Lohja, Finland.
But right now, Dudt and her teammates are focused squarely on performing well at the trials.
"We're really excited. It's definitely going to be more of a learning opportunity because there are some really established teams that will be there, but we're hopeful," Dudt says. "We've beaten a lot of these top teams before in practice because you get to play them over and over again — particularly this past year when there weren't other competitions [due to the COVID-19 pandemic]."
As a student at Bucknell, Dudt follows her coach's weekday training regimen and then returns to the Philadelphia Curling Club for periodic weekend practices, as well as others at the USA Curling facilities in Eagan, Minn. Every player in the team game throws two of the 38- to 44-pound stones. Three players on the team will also sweep the length of the ice, vigorously using a broom to scrub the sheet, which melts ice and reduces friction along its route. Dudt says sweeping is her primary strength.
But she is ready to do whatever is needed to help her team realize its Olympic dream.
"We've gotten to play as a team for a few years in a row, which is kind of unique in curling. Usually, you're switching teams every year because people are aging out," she says. "But we've worked really hard and this was one of our goals in this upcoming season. We're excited to play our best when we get there."
If they qualify for Team USA, Dudt's squad will be heading to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, to be held Feb. 4-20 in Beijing.