Athletes and Team of the Year announced

June 20, 2018, 4:45 p.m. (ET)


June 20, 2018

Team of the Year, Athletes of the Year announced

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – In a gold-medal winning season, it’s no surprise that the John Shuster rink has earned the association’s Team of the Year Award. Shuster (Superior, Wis.) also takes home the top men’s honor as 2018 USA Curling Male Athlete of the Year while 2018 women’s Olympic skip Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) is the 2018 USA Curling Female Athlete of the Year.

Shuster (Superior, Wis.) led the American men to the top of the podium at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to highlight this season. Shuster was supported by Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.,) Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.). The team went on a historic win streak to take the gold medal in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“It was an honor to hear that the team had been selected and that I was picked for Athlete of the Year as well. It’s huge to be a part of that tradition and it always makes me feel good,” Shuster said. “As a whole, USA Curling had such a great year between Team Sinclair winning the Grand Slam and Team Persinger having a stellar year, it’s good to be recognized in a year in which so many great things happened. Our team would like to tip our hats to the other teams that are working just as hard. We are proud to be part of a program that is doing so well.”

Shuster, George, Hamilton and Landsteiner also were honored as Team of the Year in 2016 while Shuster and Polo received the team award in 2006. Hamilton also was a member of the 2008 Team of the Year.

“We preached for four years that everything we did was to prepare ourselves for the Olympics. Every shot we threw, every game we played, every ’spiel we traveled to ... it was all with February in mind,” said George. “This season was a culmination, not just of four years of effort by our team, but a lifetime of perseverance and hard work. We are so proud to accept this award from USA Curling, whom we have partnered with for the entirety of our curling careers.”

This is the third time that Shuster, 35, has earned the Male Athlete of the Year Award (2018, 2015, 2009) and third time being a member of USA Curling’s Team of the Year (2016 after leading the U.S. to a bronze medal at the World Men’s Championship and in 2006 after the U.S. men won bronze at the Olympic Winter Games).  Shuster becomes just the second male athlete to earn the award three times.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the accomplishments of our team as things have settled down. I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments this team and of all of the teams I’ve been on over the years,” Shuster said. “Individual awards in our sport always kind of make me giggle because curling is such a team sport, but it’s a great honor to be Athlete of the Year for the third time.”

Roth, 29, led the American women to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials title in November, just missed out on the playoffs at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea, and finished the season with an impressive No. 10 ranking on the World Curling Tour’s Year to Date Order of Merit Standings.

“I feel extremely honored to be the 2018 Female Athlete of the Year! It’s been the best year of my competitive career,” Roth said. “My teammates – Becca, Aileen and Tab – deserve this just as much as I do! We’ve pushed each other to grow U.S. women’s curling and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished!” 

Roth, who makes a living as a nurse in the Madison area, also is a two-time women’s national champion. The American women finished the 2018 Olympics with a 4-5 record and tied with China, Canada and Switzerland. In earning the No. 10 world ranking, Team Roth made the playoffs at six World Curling Tour events – winning the Canad Inns Classic in October – and were members of the victorious 2018 WFG Continental Cup team.

“I’m enjoying my new Olympic platform and am using it to inspire kids and anyone with a dream to keep pushing forward with grit and determination – anything is possible,” Roth said.

The awards were determined by USA Curling’s Athlete/Curler Recognition Committee. The 2018 winners also will be nominated to the United States Olympic Committee for its annual athlete and team awards.  Past recipients of the award can be viewed here:

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