Winter Olympics: USA topple Sweden to cap fairytale curling gold

Bryan Armen Graham at the Gangneung Curling Centre
The Guardian
<span>USA’s John Shuster strows the stone during Saturday’s men’s curling gold medal match against Sweden.</span> <span>Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images</span>
USA’s John Shuster strows the stone during Saturday’s men’s curling gold medal match against Sweden. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

The United States have won their first ever gold medal in curling with a stunning upset of Sweden, capping a fairytale run from the brink of elimination from group play less than a week ago.

A back-and-forth match settled in a 5-all tie through seven ends before the US broke through with a five-point end in the eighth, sending the partisan American crowd at the Gangneung Curling Centre into hysterics.

Sweden would scratch back two in the ninth but it wasn’t enough as the United States won 10-7 to secure a historic gold.

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Six days ago the rink led by three-time US Olympian John Shuster appeared bound for an early exit having lost four of their first six matches in the round-robin stage, but they rattled off three straight wins to make the medal round and followed it with a surprise win of upset of three-time defending Olympic champions Canada in the semi-finals.

That set the stage for Saturday’s final, where the Americans scored their biggest win of all before a partisan crowd that included first daughter Ivanka Trump and the US delegation.

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