The 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship didn't quite go the way siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton had hoped. But despite finishing off the podium, the duo accomplished something major. By guaranteeing at least a 10th-place finish, they did enough to secure Team USA its first mixed doubles curling quota spot in Olympic history.
Mixed doubles will make its first Olympic appearance at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Thanks to the performances of Joe Polo and Tabitha Peterson at the 2016 world championships and the Hamiltons at the 2017 world championships, U.S. curlers will be a part of it.
In 2016, Polo and Peterson finished third for Team USA's first-ever mixed doubles world championship medal. That placement put Team USA in prime position to be one of the seven teams to earn a quota as it garnered 10 qualifying points.
The Hamiltons got off to a roaring start at the 2017 edition of the event, advancing out of pool play with a sparkling 7-0 record. But their medal aspirations came to an end with a 6-5 loss to Finland in extra ends, bumping them into the bottom half of the bracket. But they came back to easily defeat Hungary, 11-0, and followed that up with a 7-4 win over Italy. That guaranteed that they will finish no worse than 10th, which secures enough qualifying points to mathematically guarantee the quota spot. The Hamiltons will conclude play against Russia to determine ninth and 10th place.
Team USA will be one of eight teams to compete in mixed doubles in PyeongChang. In addition to the seven teams earning quotas at the world championship, host nation South Korea earns an automatic berth.
Both the U.S. men's and women's curling teams earned Olympic berths at their respective world championships as well, the John Shuster rink placing fourth and the Nina Roth rink placing fifth.