John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) About the eighth end where they took five “During the entire end, we could feel it building. I was happy to get a chance to make that last one for these guys, for all the shots they made throughout the course of the week and the course of this game and put an exclamation mark on it.”
“I can’t tell you how un-nervous I was though sitting in the hack to throw it. These guys around me and their belief and their hard work gave me the confidence to sit in the hack and let it go. Had any of the rest of these guys had that shot in their hand, they would’ve made the shot too.”
Shuster On his desire to win gold “I look back at 2006 and standing on the podium and getting an Olympic medal and it being one of the most incredible moments of my life and hearing someone else’s national anthem, because someone else won the gold. That’s when I knew that for me, I wanted to go there and hear my national anthem and stand on the top of a podium at an Olympics. From the day that the 2014 Olympics came to an end, every single day was with this journey in mind.”
Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.) On winning gold: "We've played our best when our backs were up against the wall. We took it to another level this week. Usually, we're fighting and scrapping to get into the playoffs but for five days we were the best team in the world and we did it at the right time. We always knew we had it in us, but to do it when it matters most is what I'm most proud of overall."
Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) On winning gold: "This is definitely one of my better weeks of curling. I owe it all to these guys who sweep my rocks because it's a little more margin for error with a second sweeper. It's just unbelievable to have such a great group of guys who support you and to spend as much time together as we have is great."
John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) on when it began to sink in that they were going to be gold medalists: “Probably after we got five. I can tell you that we knew that our job wasn’t done. We had two more ends to play. A person who was really familiar with the game knew how that was going to go down.”
George on increasing the popularity of the sport in the US “We want our sport to be loved by our country as much as we love it. There’s a reason why we play and why we love it as much as we do. I think that people are learning that now in spades as they watch us and watch us enjoy ourselves out here. I really hope we can continue to keep the ball rolling and be ambassadors for the game as long as we can. I know these shiny things around our necks will probably help us to do that too.”
Shuster on his love of curling “I think that you all saw from the buzz that curling really has a chance of taking off in our country. We’re just playing in a gold medal curling match against Sweden, not exactly our close neighbors. They don’t live right next to us. However, two of those guys on the Swedish team were at Matt’s wedding. These are our friends. The global community of curling, whether you go to a curling club, one of the little clubs that we grew up in or big curling clubs or come to a world class event, it really is just an incredible group of people. Always welcoming and really embodies what all of us hope that humanity can be.”
Hamilton on being a cultural phenomenon “I, believe it or not, don’t hate attention! It’s been a lot of fun to be able to get on a stage like this and be an ambassador for the sport as someone who maybe makes it seem a little less stiff and more for younger people and cool.”
Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) “Back in 06, you win a bronze and you think ‘I’m going to go back to every Olympics’ after that. But we had a let-down in 2010 and didn’t even make the trials. Lost the final to John for 2014 but I still had that fire to try to come back and try to win another medal and I wanted a different color, and we got it!
Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.) “You become a coach to watch people achieve their dreams. This is the pinnacle of coaching. To be able to watch friends and guys that you’ve worked with for so long, go out and live their dreams and achieve their dreams is just awesome, surreal. I am so proud of these guys, proud of Joe. Everything that they’ve all done, it’s been really phenomenal. They stand together.”
Derek Brown (Scotland) “The way that they had their backs against the wall, from 2-4 [wins-losses] to put a streak of wins together against the caliber of teams they had to play was just incredible. It’s hard to put into words, because every game was a sudden-death game for the last days. These guys have worked hard to get a gold medal.”
Brown about what the win says about the performance program in the US: “We’re trying to build from the junior program to the highest level. These guys have been part of that for three years. They’ve had full support since they qualified for the world championships back in 2015. There’s a team behind the team, trainers, psychologists, coaches that have all been here, helping us out this week and throughout the years. We made significant changes back in 2014. Those changes finally got us on the podium in 2016 [Bronze at the World Men’s] and an Olympic Gold in 2018 - the icing on the cake!”