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USA's John Shuster makes a valiant return to Olympics.
Eve Muirhead, Great Britain
The 23-year-old Muirhead is not only the brainy skip of the British women’s team, she is somewhat of a sex symbol in an anything-but-sexy sport. Recently, the Scottish beauty bared herself in the Women of Curling Calendar.
But, Muirhead is far more than a beauty queen having recently whipped Canada’s Jennifer Jones in World curling action, 12–2. Last year, she became the youngest captain to steer her team to a World Championship.
Brad Jacobs, Canada
Jacobs spearheads a confident Canadian team that went undefeated in the Olympic trials. Joined by his two brothers and two cousins on the six-man team, the family affair will try to make it a trifecta at the Games as Canada has won medals in the last two Olympics.
Niklas Edlin, Sweden
The reigning World and European champion captains a team that is slated by some to win the gold medal at Sochi. Edin triumphed over Jacobs at the 2013 World Men's Curling Championship setting the stage for a great rematch in Sochi. Should they be able to maintain their momentum and gain the medal, it will be first time on the podium for Sweden since 1998.
John Shuster, USA
Shuster has the chance to rebound after an ignominious departure from the 2010 team. As the skip of that team, he was abruptly benched after a series of poor forms with the team ultimately finishing in last place.
Shuster, who has appeared on American curling teams since 2003 and received a bronze medal at the 2006 games in Turin, did not give up.
In 2011 Shuster formed his own team, leading them to back-to-back bronze medals in the World Championships. In order to get his team to the Olympics, he won five straight games in the qualification tournament.
Which Shuster will show up in Sochi? It will be definitely something to watch.
Jennifer Jones, Canada
The four-time Canadian champion and a former world champion will skip the Canadian women's team that is forecast to win the gold in Sochi. During the 2013 season, she placed first on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit with 300 points more than second-place finisher Muirhead.
Thomas Ulsrud, Norway
Norway’s men’s team is not just a bunch of fashion mavens. Led by Ulsrud, the team has been together since 2008 and won two European titles and a silver medal in 2010.
All eyes will be on Norway which will don new flashy uniforms in Sochi. Ulsrud hopes to set a new trend in the Olympics as well by upsetting his stalwart but more traditionally-outfitted competitors.
Wang Bingyu, China
Didn’t know that China was a Nordic country? Of course it isn’t, but it does have a shot to make Olympic history should be the team be able to win the gold under Bingyu’s leadership.
Since she became skip of the team, the Chinese have beat out some of the best women’s curling teams, many from those cold Atlantic circles, ultimately becoming the first non-European or North American squad to win the World Championships in 2006.
As the reigning World Champions at the 2010 games, China took the Olympic bronze by defeating Switzerland.
Suffice it to say, Bingyu has them going in the right direction as they enter the games in Sochi.
David Murdoch, Great Britain
As skip of the British team, Murdoch may be among the most accomplished curlers heading to the Olympics.
Although yet to win an Olympic medal, the 35-year-old Scotsman has captained his team to multiple awards on the international curling scene, including gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships.
Great Britain, under Murdoch’s stewardship, is expected to score well in Sochi and many would be surprised if they do not make it to the podium.