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PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES Ame an am By Terry L. Davis, Editor


and departed it with their heads held high and lessons learned at the Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. “Trough all the rough times of this tourna-


T


ment, everybody kept their spirits up and en- couraged each other. I can’t imagine another team being able to do what we did for one anoth- er,” Black said. “It was really probably the last six games where we came alive. Te experience will prove great measure in the coming years.” It certainly wasn’t the week that Black (San


Antonio, Texas) and his team of Steve Emt (He- bron, Conn.), Justin Marshall (Evansville, Wis.), Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), and Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) envisioned when they arrived at the Gangneung Curling Centre as the Americans finished 2-9 in the round robin. “Tis was, obviously, not the way we wanted


the tournament to go or the way for it to end. We experienced it all together and that’s the most important part,” Marshall said. “We made a lot of new experiences and met a lot of new people. Tere will be a lot of good memories from this.” Te U.S. team was coached by Rusty Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Marc DePerno (New Hart- ford, N.Y.) and Tony Colacchio (East Falmouth, Mass.). Te team’s final round robin game – a 7-6 last-


rock loss to Slovakia’s Radoslav Duris – was the last of many hard-fought battles that were decid- ed on the final one or two stones. “We never gave up. I think we rallied toward


the end [of the round robin] and played our hearts out,” said Greely. “It just came down to last shots and a little bad luck, but I think we played our best the last four games and that’s all we could do. We’ll come back kicking next year.” With three members making their Paralympic


debuts, the team knew that they needed to learn a lot and learn it fast – ice conditions, stone ten- dencies, ways to close out games for wins. In the end, Slovakia leſt the ice with a win to close out the tournament. For the Americans, they take away endless hours of experience to file away for Beijing 2022. “Troughout the Korea game, there was no


here is no doubt about the heart of Kirk Black and Team USA. For 11 round robin games the team took to the ice


merican team played with hear soul at Par


aralympic Winter Game


art and ames


Team USA’s (l-r) Penny Greely, Justin Marshall, Kirk Black, Steve Emt, and Meghan Lino represented the U.S. at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in South Korea.


World Curling Federation image


way we were going to beat Korea that night. Tey were on a mission, which was expected. Te last 10 games, though, we didn’t lose – we got beat by the best teams in the world shot for shot,” Emt said. “It took great effort by our opponents to beat us. We didn’t give up, stayed together, and had a lot of fun out there. We’ll come back for 2022 and take care of business in Beijing.” “Not one of these four got negative at all. You


can’t ask for a better team dynamic than what we have right here,” said Lino, who was a member of Team USA at the 2014 Paralympics as well. Q


Korea


Canada China


Norway NPA*


Switzerland Great Britain Germany Slovakia Sweden Finland USA


Final round robin standings: 9-2 9-2 9-2 7-4 5-6 5-6 5-6 5-6 4-7 4-7 2-9 2-9


*Neutral Paralympic Athletes USA round robin results:


Korea 7, USA 3 Germany 6, USA 4 USA 10, Sweden 2 Finland 8, USA 5 Neutral Paralympic Athletes 6, USA 4 China 6, USA 4 Canada 6, USA 5 Switzerland 7, USA 4 USA 9, Great Britain 3 Norway 5, USA 4 Slovakia 7, USA 6


Semifinals:


Team USA’s Kirk Black aims at Steve Emt’s broom during round robin action at the Paralympics. Photo by World Curling Federation


China 4, Canada 3; Norway 8, Korea 6 Bronze: Canada 5, Korea 3 Gold: China 6, Norway 5


USA Curling (( 11


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