Winter Olympics 2018: USA curling wins historic gold in stunner over Sweden

in #news5 years ago

Heading into the eighth end of Saturday's gold medal game, it looked like the USA's Team Shuster was in for another nail-biter. During the ninth and tenth, they were just chucking rocks. It was a nerve-wracking eighth end that ended in jubilation.
Sweden had just tied the match in the seventh at 5-5 with a well-placed shot, but it played with fire throughout the eighth. All of that came to a head when skip John Shuster had one shot to knock Sweden off the button for a five-point end. And he nailed it. Heading into the ninth end 10-5, the U.S. would eventually win 10-7 for the Americans' first curling gold.
Shuster isn't recognized as the most accurate skip. The U.S. isn't the most accurate team. But damned if it doesn't have heart. At 2-4 with three games left in round-robin, the U.S. got its first ever win over Canada. However, even then it was a long climb to get into the medal rounds. What followed was more than impressive. It was historic. Team Shuster knocked off Switzerland and Great Britain, clinching the third spot. In the semifinals, it beat Canada once again in an expertly played chess match. And finally, it beat Sweden to win gold.
All of these were medal-caliber teams. Switzerland took bronze and, of course, Sweden took silver. Even Canada and Great Britain played "postseasons." Heading into the gold medal game, Team Shuster was guaranteed the best finish in U.S. curling history. It had never won higher than bronze before. But Team Shuster changed all of that.
This may be the most unexpected gold in these Games for the USA. No. Scratch that. It is. You won't see a movie about it. Curling isn't hockey. But this is legitimately Miracle on Ice territory in terms of difficulty. Team Shuster rattled off win after win, and time and time again it proved to be just enough after a tough start. You don't see Cinderella wins like this often. So when you do, it's important to recognize them for what they are.
Shuster was ice cold throughout this run. When it came down to it, he was the hammer. He was the one wo had to get that last takeout, or the last sit and stay, or just put it on the button. And he kept on doing it. Shuster's shot to end the eighth end will be remembered in the curling world for as long as there is a curling world. To achieve a perfect takeout for a five-point end in that manner is absolutely insane.
USA curling winning gold is a huge deal. It happened in a year in which Canada didn't medal for the first time since curling was reintroduced in 1998. It joins elite U.S. company. Chloe Kim, Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin, Red Gerard -- John Shuster. The most unexpected medals of these Games are always the sweetest. That might be why this one just feels so special. image


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