Oyuna Uranchimeg high fives Dave Samsa as they compete in wheelchair curling during the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on March 10, 2022 in Beijing.
BEIJING — The U.S. wheelchair curling team ended its campaign at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 in fifth place — tied for its second-best finish ever — with an even 5-5 record after splitting its final two matches on Thursday at the National Aquatics Centre. The team just missed qualifying for the semifinals, finishing two games out of the fourth and final playoff spot.
Team USA first fell to Sweden, 10-7, on Thursday after conceding five points in the seventh end, and then bounced back to defeat South Korea, 7-6, and end on a high note. The U.S. changed its lineup for the final contest with original alternate Pam Wilson throwing the first stones, and came through with two points in the final end to capture the victory.
“It was a nice week, and we finished on a good note. That’s what it’s all about,” said two-time Paralympian Steve Emt, the team’s lone holdover from PyeongChang 2018. “It’s just another growing experience, as in life there’s winning and there’s learning.”
In the day’s first match against top-ranked Sweden — who will go into the semifinals on Friday with first-place China, Slovakia and Canada — the U.S. scored two points in the first end, but gave up five points in a matter of minutes to head into the halfway break down by three. The Americans came back strong in the fifth to score four and retake a 6-5 lead, and doubled their lead in the seventh end before Sweden came back firing with five points of its own.