The U.S. men’s curling team that won Olympic gold four years ago remained largely intact as they worked their way back for another Games.
Team Shuster will begin play in the 2022 Winter Olympics on Wednesday.
Here’s a look at this year’s U.S. team:
View social media post: https://twitter.com/TeamShuster/status/1489589848478404611
Four years ago
At the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Team USA’s John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, and John Landsteiner shocked the curling world by winning Olympic gold.
The team nicknamed “The Rejects” had been dropped from USA Curling’s high-performance program in 2014. After proving people wrong and reaching the Olympics, Team Shuster went 5-4 in round robin play and won the final three games to reach the semifinals. The team defeated Canada in the semis and scored five points in the eighth end of the finals to defeat Sweden for the gold medal.
It was the first Olympic curling gold for any American team, and just the second Olympic medal for the U.S. all time.
This year’s team
Three of the four players from Team USA’s squad four years ago are back for this Olympics and looking to repeat the PyeongChang magic.
The only change comes with Chris Plys replacing George, who stepped away from curling after the 2018 Games. George is now working for NBC as a curling analyst for the 2022 Olympics.
Team Shuster, with Plys, finished fifth in the 2019 and 2021 World Championships.
View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZtJ-9CuKOp/
Shuster returns as skip of the U.S. men’s team. The most decorated American curler in history – Shuster also won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2010 Games – is playing in his fifth Olympics.
The curler nicknamed “Shoostie” has become a star both in the curling world and in American culture. The Superior, Wisconsin resident was one of the flag bearers for Team USA at this year’s Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Teammate Landsteiner told reporters in January: "Having John setting the field of play for the team for a decade has been something I may truly never realize the whole importance behind. Off the ice though, too, both as my travel roommate and as, basically, our team manager, I cannot think of a better person to do this whole thing with. I think some of the best-known skips in history have their ‘guy.’ Although I feel like I've found three of them on this squad, he’ll probably go down as that guy for me in the history books”
View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZVevX9Jb2B/
With his Nikes handmade into curling shoes, long hair, and signature mustache that makes him look like Nintendo’s Mario, Hamilton became one of the breakout American stars of the 2018 Games. There was even a bobblehead made in his likeness, the first ever made for a curler.
The 33-year-old Madison, Wisconsin resident competed on both the men’s team and in mixed doubles curling alongside his sister, Becca Hamilton, during the last Olympics.
This year, he’ll focus on just the men’s team, where he’ll be the second thrower.
Competing in his second Olympics is still just as special for Hamilton. At this year’s Opening Ceremony, he tweeted “Goosebumps doesn’t begin to describe the feeling,” and he can’t wait to "compete with these beauties!”
View social media post: https://twitter.com/MattJamilton/status/1489755220640862208
View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CWWw7HFMim3/
Fans have already gotten to know Plys at these Olympics during his run in the mixed doubles tournament with teammate Vicky Persinger.
Plys is the lone newcomer to Team Shuster. He joined the team in 2019, and has been with them for the last two World Championships.
Plys may be new to Team Shuster, but not to the Olympics. He served as an alternate on the U.S. men’s team for the 2010 Games.
The 34-year-old Duluth, Minnesota resident has fit in perfectly with Team Shuster, and Shuster told reporters before the Games that Plys was a natural fit from the beginning, joining in with a team that has great chemistry and a close bond.
SEE MORE: Meet the U.S. mixed doubles curling team
View social media post: https://twitter.com/jlandsteiner/status/962121546595647489
Serving as the lead for Team Shuster is Landsteiner, who made his national team debut in 2013, and was named USA Curling Athlete of the Year in 2014.
The 31-year-old from Duluth, Minnesota will be playing in his third Olympic Games.
Landsteiner told Parade.com that it’s the years of experience playing together that has served Team Shuster so well on the ice.
“It’s about controlling emotion, and there’s no practice for that,” Landsteiner told the website. “The only way to do that is by having experienced it. That’s the trick.”
Seattle, Washington resident Hufman will serve as the alternate for Team Shuster in the Games.
Hufman was also with Team Shuster in the 2021 World Championships. He made his USA Curling debut in 2015, and won gold at the U.S. National Championship in 2016 and 2018.
The 37-year-old is the only first time Olympian on Team Shuster.
U.S. Men's Curling Schedule
|Date/Time||Event||How to Watch|
|Feb. 9, 7:05 a.m. ET||USA vs. ROC||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 10, 1:05 a.m. ET||USA vs. Sweden||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 10, 8:05 p.m. ET||Great Britain vs. USA||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock, CNBC|
|Feb. 12, 1:05 a.m. ET||USA vs. Norway||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 12, 8:05 p.m. ET||USA vs. Canada||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 13, 7:05 a.m. ET||China vs. USA||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 14, 8:05 p.m. ET||Switzerland vs. USA||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock, CNBC|
|Feb. 15, 7:05 p.m. ET||Italy vs. USA||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 16, 8:05 p.m. ET||Denmark vs. USA||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock, CNBC|
|Feb. 17, 7:05 a.m. ET||Men's Semifinal, Sheet A||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 17, 7:05 a.m. ET||Men's Semifinal, Sheet C||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|
|Feb. 18, 1:05 a.m. ET||Men's Bronze Medal||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock, USA|
|Feb. 19, 1:05 p.m. ET||Men's Gold Medal||NBCOlympics.com, Peacock|