USA Curling Brings Home Olympic Gold

Click below to see clips from Brandons interview with Olympic gold medalists John Shuster and Tyler George.


At the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea last month, the United States team earned a total of 23 medals. One of the biggest surprises came when the U.S. men’s curling team, led by skipper John Shuster, won gold by defeating Sweden, 10-7. It was the first gold medal ever for a U.S. Olympic curling team.

Last November, I attended the U.S. Olympic trials for curling in Omaha, Nebraska. After Team Shuster brought home gold from South Korea, I traveled to Fargo, North Dakota, to talk with Shuster and one of his teammates, Tyler George. They were in town for a media tour.

On March 9, in a room overlooking the ice at Scheels Arena in Fargo, I talked to the athletes about their improbable journey to fame.


Brandon interviews John Shuster and Tyler George about their Olympic experiences.

Flanked by curling champions John Shuster (left) and Tyler George, Brandon tries on an Olympic gold medal at Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota.


Shuster and George both grew up in Minnesota. Shuster began curling at the age of 13. “I’ve thrown very many stones since my dad first took me curling,” he said, referring to the 42-pound granite stones that athletes coax down the ice during a competition.

George, who started curling when he was 10 or 11, has been playing the sport for about 20 years. When asked how it felt to win a gold medal, he said, “It’s hard to describe. When you’re little you dream of it, and one day you have the medal in your hands.”

Shuster offered some advice for kids. It reflected his own journey to Olympic gold. “Find something you like, and do it no matter what it is,” he said. “Chase your dream no matter what it is. Live life with passion and have some fun.”


Brandon holds Tyler George's gold medal

Brandon holds the Olympic gold medal that Tyler George earned as a member of the U.S. men’s curling team in PyeongChang, South Korea.


Even though the athletes competed intensely in South Korea, they still took time to enjoy the Olympic experience. Shuster relaxed by walking along the Sea of Japan with his family. George frequented street vendors to try some authentic Korean food.

“I was pretty sure it was intestines that I ate,” George said about an unpleasant culinary adventure. “If you can imagine what that would taste like, that is exactly what it tasted like.”

Shuster and George love the teamwork involved in the game of curling and enjoy competing with their friends. But they have only been on the ice once since the Olympic Games ended on February 25.

Both athletes have had full schedules since the Games ended, with interviews and media tours. They want to get back on the ice soon, but they’re also savoring the moment.

“We will enjoy this,” Shuster said, “and we will work hard to get into the next Olympics.”


Photos courtesy of the author