Team USA finished fourth at the 2013 World Wheelchair Championship after a last-rock loss to China in the bronze medal game at the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia.
"We came and we played, we trained really hard. After the fourth end break they turned up the heat. They made it really difficult. The best team won," said Patrick McDonald, Team USA's skip. The U.S. fell to China's Haitao Wang, 6-5, to finish with an 8-4 overall record. It was the second straight year that China won the bronze medal at this event.
McDonald (Madison, Wis.) and teammates David Palmer (Mashpee, Mass.), Jimmy Joseph (New Hartford, N.Y.), Penny Greely (Green Bay, Wis.), and Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.) have successfully qualified the U.S. for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
"We came in to get a medal, did our best. It's heartbreaking to lose," Joseph said. "Obviously, it's not fun coming in fourth for the past several years. But it's a bigger prize next year at the Paralympics and that only makes us hungrier to get a medal. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but I'm very proud of this team."
The Americans started the game with a deuce and held China to a single in the second end. After exchanging singles over the next two ends, the U.S. held a modest 3-2 lead at the halfway point. The U.S. team was held to one point in the fifth and allowed China to take control of the game momentum as they scored a deuce in the sixth end to tie the game.
After being held again to a single in the seventh end, China got the win set up in the eighth. The Chinese kept the end clean and Wang had clear takeout on a U.S. shot stone to score two and win the game.
"I'm very proud of our team and very proud of how we played. We've come a long way in two years. Next year we're only going to be stronger. We are going for gold in the Paralympics," Greely said.
The 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will take place March 7-16, 2014.
To view all the final results from the event, go to http://wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com.
For more information, contact Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).