(L-R) Cory Christensen and John Shuster compete at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships on April 26, 2019 in Stavanger, Norway.
John Shuster and Cory Christensen came from behind to christen their debut appearance at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships with a bronze medal Saturday in Stavanger, Norway.
Tied 4-4 after eight ends of play, the veteran American pair stayed steady to win the decisive point in extra ends during their world mixed doubles debut. They defeated Australians Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt, whose medal-round appearance was a first for Australian curling, 5-4.
A slow start initially put the Americans in a 3-0 hole after the first four ends of play. But Shuster and Christensen stuck to their guns, laying down solid plays that gave the USA a 4-3 lead after the seventh end. A late surge from Gill and Hewitt gave them the tying point in the eighth, setting up a make-or-break final end for Team USA.
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The pressure of the situation didn’t faze Christensen and Shuster, both Olympians in the traditional four-person format, who calmly laid down the winning point.
Shuster, a four-time Olympian, was the skip of the first American team ever to win an Olympic gold medal in curling at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018, finished the tournament with a 75 percent shot success rate. Christensen was at 70 percent.
Team USA opened the tournament with six striaght wins in group play. The duo then defeated England 7-4 in the round of 16 and eliminated Estonia 9-5 before dropping their semifinal against Canada 5-9, setting up the match against Australia in the bronze-medal round. Canada went on to face Sweden for the gold.
Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.