Hamilton siblings to represent US in mixed doubles in PyeongChang

Dec. 17, 2017, 7:57 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 17, 2017

 

Hamilton siblings win 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Mixed Doubles Curling

 

(BLAINE, Minn.) –  With the holidays drawing near and an Olympic Trials win already in their pockets, what more could Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton ask for? The brother-sister duo made history tonight by becoming the first athletes to qualify to compete in both team and mixed doubles competition at an Olympic Games after defeating fellow Olympians Cory Christensen and John Shuster in the championship final of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Mixed Doubles Curling.

 

The siblings from McFarland, Wis., were named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team last month in Omaha after winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling with their respective men’s and women’s teams. With the 6-5 win tonight at Fogerty Arena over Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and Shuster (Superior, Wis.), the Hamiltons will now have a chance to make the podium twice in PyeongChang.

 

“This is something you dream about your entire life. To be able to come out on top in two separate events is a Christmas miracle and we’re really excited,” Matt Hamilton said.

 

Becca, 27, plays lead for Nina Roth’s team while Hamilton, 28, is second for John Shuster’s Olympic team. Christensen, 23, is the alternate on Roth’s rink.

 

“I don’t even think the first win has fully set in. It doesn’t really set in. Maybe when I get on the plane and head over there it’ll set in. To put this on top of it is unreal. I just know I have the best little sister in the world and the best little curler in the world,” Matt Hamilton said.

 

Down two, Christensen and Shuster had a shot for the win with the final stone of the game – and it looked great coming out of Christensen’s hand but over-curled and left just one rock in scoring position.

 

“We were tapping for three and the win. It seemed like the rocks were kinda running down the sheet especially on the other side a little bit more. I told her I thought we could throw regular draw weight and that I could pound it and get it running down the sheet and watch it curl late. We just touched their rock by a quarter of an inch,” Shuster said.

 

The game featured several momentum swings with the Hamiltons having the early advantage.

 

“They played great all week and were number one coming out of the round robin. We were fortunate enough to make some really great shots. We got on the right side of the inch for the last shot but otherwise it could’ve been a different story,” Becca Hamilton said.

 

The Hamilton duo locked in a stone on the button in the opening end but they were not able to add to the bounty. In the second end, Matt Hamilton converted a double takeout to force Christensen into a takeout attempt with the final stone that was unsuccessful. Up 2-0, the Hamiltons played a runback that allowed room for Christensen to draw for two. However, the final rock made light contact with a center guard and they settled for a single instead. Becca Hamilton drew into the four-foot with the final stone of the fourth end to take a 3-1 halftime lead.

 

The game turned in favor of Christensen and Shuster as the second half began. A series of half shots from the Hamiltons allowed Christensen to make a takeout and score three points in the fifth to take the lead for the first time. Team Hamilton then put their power play to use in the sixth end to secure two points when Becca Hamilton converted an open takeout. In the seventh end, Becca Hamilton played a perfect draw with the first stone of the end to place it on the button. Christensen was heavy with her team’s first rock and they never regained positioning as the Hamiltons stole a point to take a two-stone lead into the eighth.

 

The eighth end wasn’t perfect for either team with several half shots that quickly saw Christensen with not just an opportunity to score two and force an extra end – but score three for the win when Becca Hamilton’s final stone was wide. Christensen had a relatively open hit and stick for the win. The slide and delivery were seemingly in line but the stone curled too much at the end and didn’t remove enough of the Hamilton stone to win.

 

“It was a solid game and we played pretty well; just a couple of inches there at the end,” said Christensen, a four-time U.S. junior national champion.

 

This was the first loss for Shuster in an Olympic Trials final as he is 4-0 in men’s Trials.

 

“For me nothing really changed heading into here. I’ve been planning out my days to make sure I’m as ready as I can possibly be come February. The date has been circled on my calendar for four years and it remains circled and nothing else changes for me,” Shuster said.

 

“I think being such good friends, made it easier to take either way knowing that we’re still gonna have a great representative at the Olympics. John came up to me and told me how proud he was of me and how he’s glad I’m on his team. But he warned me about next year how he’s coming for me. We’re pretty excited to have this opportunity and John is excited for us,” Matt Hamilton said.

 

The Olympic mixed doubles competition will take place Feb. 8-13 prior to the start of the men’s and women’s team competitions in South Korea.


To learn more about the 2018 U.S. Olympic Curling team, go to www.usacurl.org

 

All athletes selected to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee

 

Line score, final:

*Hamilton-Hamilton      110 102 10 – 6

Christensen-Shuster       001 030 01 – 5

*last rock in first end

 

(30)

 

For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).