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US Curling Disappointment

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VANCOUVER-The U.S. Men’s Curling team has been a major disappointment at this year’s Olympic Games. Winning only two games, while losing seven, the Men’s curling team is worst curling team at the Olympics. However, the blame should not be put on the team as a whole. John Shuster who is the skip, or last shooter for the team, has had three chances to seal a win for the U.S. team in the eleventh end, or round, but has missed each time, effectively dropping the U.S. team out of medal contention.

The U.S. hoped to continue a bronze medal effort at the Torino Olympics four years ago. “We had a good run last time,” said U.S. curler John Benton, “we tried to continue the winning efforts.” The United States finished third place at the Olympics four years ago, winning the bronze medal, but they failed to match that effort at these Olympics.

The U.S. finished dead last in the standings, going a miserable 2-7, while being ranked fourth in the world, according to USAToday.com. In the three years preceding the Olympics, the U.S. has finished 3rd once and 4th twice at the world championships in 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively

The games started with the U.S. playing and losing to Germany who finished in fifth place at the Olympics according to NBC.com. However, the next three games were all heartbreakers for the U.S. team. The team lost in an extra end to Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark. The wins would have sparked the U.S. to a 3-1 record and possibly a medal, but instead the losses dropped the U.S. to a demoralizing 0-4 and essentially out of medal contention. “It’s been a real struggle,” said the team’s captain and skip John Shuster, “it’ll be hard to look back at these hard matches.”

The majority of the blame for the losses should be put on Captain Shuster. As the skip, or final shooter, he is supposed to defend the target. Instead he tried to extend the U.S. lead, which backfired and resulted in a U.S. loss in each match. These losses cost the U.S. a chance at an Olympic medal in curling, but will have a lasting effect on the individual U.S. curlers and whether or not they will come back to the 2014 Olympics.
The greatest effect from these Olympic Games is not on the U.S. men’s curling team as a whole, but on Shuster. The average age for curlers at the Olympics is 39.9 years old, according to olympic.org, which is the sport with the oldest average athlete. The relatively young Shuster, age 27, could attend at least three more Olympics with the U.S. team before he retires, but at the rate that he is playing, he may not even be back for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. However, until there is an announcement by the U.S. Olympic board or U.S. men’s curling Coach Phil Drobnick, the fate of John Shuster and the U.S. men’s Olympic curling team is unknown to the world.





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