(L-R) Becca Hamilton, Nina Roth, Aileen Geving and Tabitha Peterson talk during their game against Japan at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 14, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
For a few hours on Friday afternoon, the U.S. women’s curling team had a very close eye on the match between Switzerland and Germany at the World Women’s Curling Championship in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
If they cheered every time Switzerland scored, it would have been understandable. The U.S. needed Switzerland to win in order to make the playoffs. And if the U.S. made the playoffs, the team would automatically qualify for a spot at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Beijing, here they come.
Switzerland posted an 8–3 victory over the Germans, clearing the path for Team USA. Now not only does the U.S. get to make a run at world championship gold this weekend, but they do so knowing that they’ll get to compete for Olympic gold next winter. The U.S. finished eighth at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and are still seeking their first piece of Olympic hardware.
Tabitha Peterson, Nina Roth, Becca Hamilton, Tara Peterson and Aileen Geving played their final match of the round robin earlier on Friday, falling to the Russian Curling Federation 7-3. After dropping the first two games of the 13-game round-robin, they won six of their next seven to reach fourth place with four games remaining. But three losses in their final four matches meant they needed help from Switzerland.
Now, Team USA will seek its first world championship medal since winning back-to-back silvers in 2005 and 2006. The U.S. won its lone gold at the tournament, contested since 1979, in 2003.
The Olympic Channel will air both semifinal matches on Saturday as well as the bronze medal game on Sunday. NBC Sports will show the gold medal match on Sunday.