USA Beats Sweden to Win Men's Curling Gold Medal at 2018 Olympics

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 24:  John Shuster of the United States reacts during the game against Sweden during the Curling Men's Gold Medal game on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Curling Centre on February 24, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Team USA beat Sweden to win the gold medal in the men's curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Saturday. 

The U.S. Olympic team won 10-7 and all-but sealed gold after skip John Shuster doubled the team's tally on one stone, with the scores tied at 5-5 in end 8. Shuster's moment was in stark contrast to the performance of Swedish skip Niklas Edin, who was well below his usual high standards.

The U.S. Olympic Team confirmed the significance of the win:

Here is the updated medal tracker:

Sweden finished end 2 with a pair of stones in the house, good for a 2-0 lead. However, Team USA was 3-2 in front by the start of end 5, thanks to a smart steal.

It was looking good for the U.S. early in the end, with three stones in the house, including one closest to the centre. The pressure was on Edin, but the skip couldn't take out the stone he wanted, unlike U.S. vice Tyler George, who left Sweden lying four against after a fine shot aided by some strong sweeping from John Landsteiner.

George put another stone in the tee line, with Team USA also having a stone directly over the centre line, limiting Sweden's options somewhat. The mistake came when vice Oskar Eriksson put too much weight on his shot, knocking the stone off the centre line, but sending it straight through, instead of into the others in the house.

Shuster directed a smart approach from the U.S.
Shuster directed a smart approach from the U.S.Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Things changed when Shuster didn't set a guard close enough to the house, allowing Edin to place a stone in the button. It was a stone Shuster couldn't knock out of the way.

A smart shot from Edin let Sweden take the end with two in the house and go 4-3 in front.

Yet it was Edin who made the next mistake, knocking a U.S. stone out of the button but sending his shot too far beyond to the edge of the house. It left Shuster with plenty of room to send the Hammer down and leave Team USA two in and 5-4 in front.

The next end saw a superb shot from Matt Hamilton, as he took out two Swedish stones and left one in the house for the U.S.

However, it was Sweden who eventually won the end, with Edin settling for one to tie the scores.

Edin uncharacteristically struggled.
Edin uncharacteristically struggled.Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Edin had kept his country in it, but one leg later another costly error left the door open for Shuster, who duly took the opportunity for five and put Team USA 10-5 ahead and on the brink of gold.

The team's official Twitter account sensed the end was near:

So it proved even though Sweden didn't initially concede and played most of the next two ends before collecting the silver medal.

Beating Canada and Sweden en route to gold leaves no doubt Team USA have been worthy winners of this event.

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