Since curling was added to the Olympic program in 1998, U.S. men's teams have won one medal: a bronze in 2006. They will have the chance to change that in PyeongChang, South Korea, as Team USA has officially earned a men's curling quota spot at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Thanks to strong performances by teams skipped by John Shuster at the 2016 and 2017 World Men's Curling Championships, the U.S. was able to lock down its Olympic spot.
For three years in a row, Shuster, Tyler George, John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton have represented the U.S. on the world stage. They earned bronze in 2016, the first medal by a U.S. men's curling team at the event since 2007. That third-place finish earned them 10 qualifying points, putting them in prime position to earn a quota in 2017.
By simply advancing out of round robin play, Shuster's rink, which this year includes Joe Polo as the fifth member, ensures that it will finish no lower than fourth and earn no fewer than nine qualifying points. This mathematically guarantees the team a top-seven placement among participating teams, which is needed to qualify an Olympic spot.
With one game of round-robin play remaining, Team USA has compiled a record of 7-3. After beginning the tournament 2-3, including an 8-2 loss to Canada, they roared back to win five consecutive games. The last one, a 6-5 win over the Netherlands, came down to the final shot, when Shuster was able to secure the win in the 10th end. Moments later, Switzerland defeated Japan, eliminating them from playoff contention and guaranteeing the U.S. a spot in the next round.
Team USA will be one of 10 teams to compete in men's curling in PyeongChang. South Korea, the host nation, receives an automatic bid, while seven countries punch their tickets based on 2016 and 2017 world championship results. Two additional teams will earn their selection at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017, held Dec. 5-10 in Pizen, Czech Republic.
The U.S. women earned their quota in March when Nina Roth, Tabitha Peterson, Aileen Geving and Becca Hamilton placed fifth at the world championships.