2022 Winter Olympics: Great Britain and Sweden to play for gold in men’s curling

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The Brits won their first medal of the Beijing Games, thanks to Bruce Mouat and the men’s curling team.

Four Scottish boys beat defending Olympic champions USA 8-4 in the semi-finals on Thursday night to clinch nothing worse than a silver medal and earn the right to face Sweden for gold.

Although Scotland is the birthplace of curling and the sport remains a national passion, Britons have not won men’s gold – and have just two medals of any color – since the sport returned at the Winter Games in 1998.

“It will be a house party if we do,” said UK frontman Hammy McMillan. “It would mean the absolute world to everyone if we did.”


Britain’s Hammy McMillan celebrates with Bobby Lammie after winning the men’s curling semi-final against the United States at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022, in Beijing.
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Swedes outscored Canada 5-3 in the other semi-final at Ice Cube Curling Venue. Captain Niklas Edin will have a chance to complete his Olympic medal streak, having won bronze in Sochi and silver in Pyeongchang.

“It’s going to be a super, super interesting final,” Edin said. “I think it might be nerve-wracking to play, but I think it’s going to be a super well-played game.”

John Shuster, who won bronze in 2006 and gold four years ago — the only Olympic curling medals in US history — will skip the Americans in the third-place game against Canada.

“I learned a lot in Turin in 2006, because you have this huge disappointment. And then, you know, it’s really easy to let that disappointment linger,” he said.

“But you know what we have to realize is we have an opportunity to come back here and be on an Olympic podium, winning an Olympic medal for the United States of America,” Shuster said. “And I think we’re going to – I know we’re going to be ready to go out tomorrow and play and do that.”

Trailing 5-4 at the five-end break, the Americans intentionally shut out three straight ends to maintain control of the last-rock advantage, known as the hammer. They would have gladly done it again in the ninth end, but Great Britain cashed in and Shuster intentionally threw his last rock – conceding a point to retain the hammer in the 10th, trailing 6-4.

In the final end, Mouat left Shuster with no good option for his last rock, and in desperation he ended up knocking down all the red rocks in the scoring area to leave two British yellow rocks.

“We lost to a team that was playing better. It’s the long and the short of it,” said American second Matt Hamilton. “There’s nothing you can really say or sugarcoat it.”

Sweden also played for the big end, shutting out the sixth and seventh in a 3-3 game before Canada forced them to take a single point in the eighth. Then Canada took an intentional zero, entering the 10th down 4-3.

But Brad Gushue’s last rock in the 10th was inches from the center of the target, giving Edin – five-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist – the steal of one.


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