At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, the U.S. men’s curling team made history by winning the country’s first gold medal in the event.
Led by skipper John Shuster, the team, which also includes Jose Polo, John Landsteiner, Matt Hamilton and Tyler George, came from near-elimination to take home the top prize. The Nike-sponsored team first bested Canada — a feat never achieved by a U.S. men’s or women’s curling team — and later beat Sweden, ranked No. 1, to come out on top.
In Team USA’s final matchup against Sweden, the team took a 10-5 lead in the eighth end, building a lead that would prove impossible for Sweden to catch. While Sweden added two more points in the ninth end, the Americans won 10-7.
“We’ve played our best when our backs were up against the wall,” George told NPR following the team win. “We took it to another level this week. Usually we’re fighting and scrapping to get into the playoffs but for five days we were the best team in the world and we did it at the right time.”
Although victory was sweet for the men’s curlers, the gold medal ceremony was not without its hitches. The team was originally presented the gold medals for women’s curling, but the medals were switched out before they made their way to the podium.