Other Sports: Olympics-Curling-With pressure off, US men’s team relishing title defence


BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States are among the many men’s curling medal favourites on the Beijing Games however skip John Shuster says their gorgeous triumph in Pyeongchang 4 years in the past means they’re feeling much less pressure within the quest to defend their Olympic title.

Shuster received bronze in Turin in 2006 as lead on Pete Fenson’s rink earlier than taking his “Team Rejects” to glory in Pyeongchang once they upset heavyweights Sweden and have become the primary U.S. team to win Olympic curling gold.

“It was the sporting pinnacle of my profession,” Shuster instructed a information convention on Saturday. “We’ll all the time be Olympic champions … That might be one thing we’ll all the time get to hold with us.

“I’ve all the time cared a lot about going to the Olympics and having an awesome efficiency, and attending to be on high of that podium has form of taken that pressure off. We’re simply going to go on the market and benefit from the alternative to attempt to defend.

“In the final 4 years, we have labored extraordinarily onerous and I believe we have solely made steps additional ahead to offer ourselves an awesome likelihood to compete and get on that podium once more.”

Chris Plys, at the moment competing within the blended doubles with Vicky Persinger, will play third for Shuster’s rink on Wednesday once they tackle the Russian team, whereas Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner resume their roles from 2018 as second and lead.

“You cannot take that medal away from me now,” joked Hamilton, who made his Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.

“You cannot write it any higher than that,” he added. “It was a reasonably unbelievable expertise … I’m stoked to be again and hoping to do it once more.”

(Reporting by Joseph Campbell and Hritika Sharma; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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