BY ANDREW KRUSZKA, WRITER
I always wonder what to write in my articles each week. There are weeks when I really think long and hard about what to write, but other times an idea pops into my head. After doing this, I realized this was the opinion section, and you can basically have an opinion on literally anything.
This week’s opinion is based on a sport that most Americans probably had little or no knowledge of; curling. Well, at least that statement is true. The Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea in 2018 was the occasion for the men’s curling team, led by captain John Shuster, to win the first-ever gold medal in United States history.
It’s true! For all curling fans, no Canada came away with another curling gold medal in 2018. The United States did. After the team started with just two wins and four losses in Pyeongchang, they faced a playoff match against Canada, the god of curling, it seems.
I’m here today to tell my loyal readers that the United States, under the leadership of Team Shuster, hasn’t lost another game at the Olympics since. They then beat Canada, Switzerland and Great Britain in playoff matches to advance to the semi-finals. They defeated Canada again, and then with a magnificent eighth end where Shuster gave the team a five-point lead against Sweden in the gold medal game, the United States won their first-ever medal. gold in curling.
Now you’re probably wondering why I’m spending my “precious” time writing about this sport that, again, no one really cared about until 2018. Then it’s probably forgotten.
The Olympic Games are back! Yes, they are in China and people are controversial, but put your politics aside and watch them. I hope you put curling on TV because John Shuster is back! He’s back to represent Team USA and is looking to defend his gold medal with his team of John Landsteiner (leader), Matt Hamilton and Chris Plys.
It can be hard to get into at first, and no, these aren’t the normal Winter Olympics sports everyone knows and watches like figure skating, hockey, and skiing. I’m also not telling you that you shouldn’t watch them. Go ahead, I sure do. These games only take place once every four years for two weeks. What I’m saying is try curling.
Four players from each team throw two stones each. Each player has a brush in their hands that helps clean the ice when the stone is thrown, causing it to go faster, wrap around more or less, depending on the direction and force with which they sweep. In general, the rules are pretty straightforward other than that. Think of it like a game of bocce where you want your rock to be closest to the circle. After that, you want your other rocks to be next closest in order to receive points. You play ten ends which are considered innings in baseball. Each team can pitch a total of 20 times if the game lasts ten ends and does not need extras.
All in all, Team Shuster is hitting the ice this week and next week, so jump over to Peacock or whatever streaming service you can get the Olympics on and give curling a try. If you don’t like it, the least you can say is that you tried it. With that, I will say this, Go Team USA makes us proud, and above all, be safe!