Saturday, February 24, 2018

U.S. Wins Curling Gold

I would say this may be one of the biggest upsets in Olympic history:
About a week ago U.S. men's curling team was dead on the ice sheet. A 5-8 loss to Norway in round robin play left the USA with a 2-4 record and three basically must-win matches to go. U.S. skip John Shuster, thinking he had authored yet another Olympic implosion, walked with his family through the Olympic Park while his wife tried to convince him not to give up.
Eventually he sat down in the grass, looked around him and thought, "This is silly. This is the Olympics. I feel like I'm getting my heart broken by this sport and it's just silly." He says he went to bed that night and woke up the next morning and saw the story of U.S. speed skater Dan Jansen, who endured years of shock defeats in the Olympics only to win the final Olympic race of his career.
From then on, Shuster and his team ("Team Reject" as Shuster jokingly called them, referencing their exclusion from USA Curling's High Performance Program after a disappointing showing at Sochi) of Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner won five straight, culminating in today's shock victory over top-ranked Sweden to give the USA its second ever medal in curling, its first since earning bronze at the 2006 Turin games, and its first ever gold medal in the sport.
A large and loud U.S. contingent gave the arena a home game feel.
So the U.S. won gold in womens hockey and mens curling, and the Canadians didn't.  That has to to be a bitter pill to swallow north of the 49th parallel.

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