Team USA Won Its First Olympic Curling Gold Ever

The United States curling team will play for Olympic gold against Sweden after defeating Canada in a thrilling semifinals showdown

"Since the day the 2014 Olympics came to an end, every moment was with this journey in mind", said Shuster.

Fourteen men tried out for the high performance program created to reverse the country's Olympic disappointments.

Shuster had executed a flawless shot: a blend of cool-handed finesse and foolproof strategy.

Then he shook hands to concede the match.

Against the Swedes, the US broke a tie with a massive double-knockout in the eighth end, scoring five points to take a 10-5 lead.

Only one other team, perennial power Canada, has delivered a higher-scoring end in a gold-medal match at the Olympics.

The irked Swedes make for risky foes and they wasted no time bouncing back, skip Edin throwing a ideal hammer to put the Scandinavians back in front at 4-3.

"I was happy to make that last shot for all of these guys and all the shots they made throughout the game and throughout this week", Shuster said, lavishing praise on his compatriots. "(The Swedes) margin for error got incredibly small". "I can't tell you how un-nervous I was".

They were tied at 5-apiece after seven. And gold was waiting for them at the end.

"It's hard to rationalize wanting to do it", vice-skip Tyler George said after the Americans beat favored Sweden 10-7 in nine ends in the gold-medal match on Saturday.

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"We played the rest of the game to get rid of the worst of the frustrations we were feeling inside", Edin said. "Instead of just shaking hands, it was one of those moves that you're trying to give the crowd, all the disappointment we felt, give them a little something back". "We wanted to stay out there a little longer to calm down a bit and say good things".

About a week ago USA men's curling team was dead on the ice sheet.

During the medal ceremony, the team was accidentally presented with the gold medals stamped for the women's winners, but the mistake was quickly noticed and the medals were swapped.

This was Shusters fourth consecutive Olympic appearance, and he has experienced all the joy and heartbreak that the Games can offer.

And here is what they did: They won the USA championship, beating those selected instead of them, to force their way into the program that directs funding to teams with the best chance of success. His Olympic career appeared over when he didn't even get picked for the USA high-performance program, which was supposed to provide the next Olympic foursome.

(L-R) John Landsteiner, John Shuster and Matt Hamilton compete in the men's curling semi-final match against Canada at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

"Team Reject", they called themselves. And the curlers began the slow climb back to respectability, through the national ranks, through the Olympic trials and through the Olympic bonspiel, or tournament, in South Korea, where they surmounted all kinds of obstacles. Shuster even began to doubt himself when an 8-5 loss to Norway left the Americans on the verge of missing the playoff round. "I feel like I'm getting my heart broken by this sport and it's just silly".

He slept well that night for the first time in days. It never lost again. National Football League stars Aaron Rodgers and J.J. Watt tweeted their support. "It's really just an incredible group of people".

"I think curling really has a chance of taking off in our country", he said. Always welcoming and really, I think, embodies what all of us would hope humanity can be. That's what curling embodies.

Well, he has at least one new fan.


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