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OLYMPIC SPECIAL EDITION


A Journey to the Top By Terry Davis • Photos by Rich Harmer J


ohn Shuster sat alone on the grass late at night in South Korea, with the Gangneung Curling Centre off in the distance having just walked his wife and two young sons to their shuttle, pondering why “it” was happening again. It being the inability to meet his Olympic goals


fresh off of a painful loss to Norway in the round robin that set the team back to a 2-4 re- cord with just three games leſt. His decision in that moment of solitude in


part would forever change his life and those of the other four members of the MiraCurl team – he decided to have fun again. Make the game fun again. Something that sounds so simple in theory. Aſter that, Shuster (Su- perior, Wis.) and his team of Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), along with coaches Phill Drobnick and Derek Brown, would never lose another game at the 2018 Olympic Winter


2 )) usacurl.org


Games as a magical journey ended on top of the podium. Te next day they did something that had never been done before by a U.S. team – they beat Canada at the Olympics. With a 9-7 win, the U.S. team was feeling proud. Two more round robin wins over Switzerland and Great Britain and Shuster and the boys were in the playoffs. THE playoffs. What seemed im- possible suddenly was right in front of them. Another historic win over the favored Cana-


dian team skipped by Kevin Koe and the U.S. had a showdown for a medal that the Ameri- cans had never won in curling. Gold. Could this really be happening for the five humble Midwest dudes who dared to wear white pants before Memorial Day? White pants?!? What happened next were nine amazing ends of curling that have forever changed the future of the sport of curling in the U.S. – and the lives of five very special athletes. Tank you, John, Tyler, Matt, John, Joe,


Phill, Derek, support staff (especially Carly & Brian) and families – you did it. Q


// HOW THEY GOT THERE


2018 Olympic Winter Games Men’s round robin standings:


Sweden (Niklas Edin) Canada (Kevin Koe) USA (John Shuster)


Switzerland (Peter de Cruz) Great Britain (Kyle Smith) Norway (Tomas Ulsrud) Korea (Chang-Min Kim) Japan (Yusuke Morozumi) Italy (Joel Retornaz)


Denmark (Rasmus Stjerne)


USA 11, Korea 7 Italy 10, USA 9 Sweden 10, USA 4 USA 9, Denmark 5 Japan 8, USA 2 Norway 8, USA 5 USA 9, Canada 7 USA 8, Switzerland 4 USA 10, Great Britain 4


7-2 6-3 5-4 5-4 5-4 4-5 4-5 4-5 3-6 2-7


Tiebreaker: Switzerland 9, Great Britain 5 USA round robin results:


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