To World's Surprise, America Takes Gold in Curling

Team USA upsets Sweden, after beating Canada
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 24, 2018 5:23 AM CST
United States's skip John Shuster reacts during the men's final curling match.   (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
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(Newser) – Team USA has pulled off one of its biggest surprises of these Olympics: curling gold. The American men scored a decisive upset of Sweden as John Shuster skipped the United States to a 10-7 victory on Saturday. It's only the second curling medal in US history. Shuster was part of the other one, too, as the lead thrower on Pete Fenson's bronze-medal team at the 2006 Turin Games. The Americans received a good luck call from Mr. T before the match. The King of Sweden was there, as was US presidential daughter Ivanka Trump. They saw Shuster convert a double-takeout for a five-ender in the eighth—an exceedingly rare score that made it 10-5 and essentially clinched the win, explains the AP. Sweden retained the last-rock advantage known as the hammer for the ninth end, and scored two. But that gave the hammer to the Americans for the 10th and final end.

Shuster played it safe, throwing away one stone intentionally to keep the target area clear and avoid the traffic that can lead to big scores. The remaining rocks were used to methodically pick off Sweden's until there weren't enough left to catch up. The Americans barely squeaked into the playoffs with a 5-4 record after losing four of their first six games to move to the brink of elimination. But Shuster, American curling's only four-time Olympian, guided his team to three straight victories to advance to the playoffs and then a semifinal win over three-time defending gold medalist Canada. No US curling team, men or women, had ever beaten Canada at the Olympics. This year's team—Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner, and alternate Joe Polo—did it twice in one week.


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