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A week ago, the men’s U.S. curling team was facing frustration and disappointment.
Now, on Saturday, Team USA scored one of its most unlikely gold medals of the PyeongChang Games with a clutch men’s curling performance in a 10-7 win over Sweden.
The win was Team USA’s fifth straight in Olympic competition after a 2-4 start in round robin play almost knocked the U.S. curlers out of medal contention. One of those losses was a 10-4 defeat to Sweden.
“It was a lot of fun,” team skip John Shuster told NBC of rallying after digging a hole in the competition. “That’s where the week changed for us and changed for me. To allow myself to go out there and enjoy it and enjoy being with my team and enjoy the work that we did and let the work show through. Holy cow.”
The margin of victory was decisive, but the match was not without its dramatic moments.
With Team USA trailing 2-0 in the third end Shuster took a big risk. Instead of throwing for what would have been an easy single point, he gambled on an aggressive play to knock out a pair of Sweden’s stones that payed off in a 2-2 tie after three.
But the eighth end was where Team USA scored big and put the clamps down on a win. Shuster again faced a pressure throw and came through in a huge way. Sweden left itself vulnerable with a group of American stones in scoring position, and Shuster delivered a perfect throw to eliminate two Swedish stones and turn a 5-5 tie into a 10-5 lead.
It was the biggest moment in U.S. curling history and made the 10-7 final score all but a formality.
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