Tyler George, the American vice skip who wears really ratty sneakers, made two outstanding shots to set up Shuster, who came through in a huge way: a double takeout on his last throw to score two for the Americans and tie the match. More chants of “U-S-A!” are filling this place.
Throughout their run here, the members of the American team have given huge credit to Dr. Carly Anderson, who came on as U.S.A. Curling’s sports psychologist after their dismal showing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“We’ve had team meetings where we’re kind of slumping, and she’s just tough on us,” Matt Hamilton said in an interview before the start of the Olympics. “She’ll tell us, ‘You guys have to pull your heads out of your butts!’ She’ll tell it how it is.”
Anderson has worked with the players in individual and group sessions. A huge emphasis, she said, has been developing strategies to help them execute in pressure situations. So far, so good.
Devin Heroux: In this third end, it was all about placement of stones and getting the proper angles. Edin changed the end around by making a double and rolling perfectly. This is how precise the game has become. But a slight error by Edin on his last rock allowed Shuster a tough double takeout and he threw his rock perfectly to score two.
Sweden likes low-scoring battles. They wait for their opponents to crack. The USA has hung tough with teams throughout this Olympic competition. We’ll see how Shuster and his team handle the added pressure of this game, though. Sweden is the top-ranked team in the world right now. USA has the ability to play a simple style of curling but can also complicate the game and draw opponents into making mistakes. Many curlers in the game say Shuster has the ability to single-handedly win a curling game because of his shotmaking brilliance. He’ll need to do that today to propel the Americans to their first gold at the Olympics.
Read the full article in the NY Times at John Shuster and the U.S. Curling Team Win First Gold Medal