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Up North: Several Duluth Curlers to Represent USA in 2018 Olympics

December 13, 2017 04:23 PM

“When people look at Curling, young kids in junior programs across the country, they’re all thinking about being the next John Shuster," said U.S. Olympic Curling Coach Phill Drobnick.

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That is because Shuster made history becoming the first American male to make a fourth Olympic team.

"The fact that I’m getting to do it for a fourth time is extremely exciting. Especially with the current team and all the work we went through the last 4 years. It’s come to fruition with another trip to the Olympics," said Shuster.

Shuster, his lead John Landsteiner and Duluth, Minn. native and alternate Joe Polo will be the only member of team Shuster with Olympic experience.

"We do best when we bring our energy, bring high energy to the game and really communicate up and down the sheet. Those are our main goals before we start every game.

“I think it helps knowing what to expect. We’re going to go in and know what opening ceremonies look like, know what the draw is going to look like, and know what village life is going to look like," said Polo. "It helps to knowing what to expect."

"We do best when we bring our energy, bring high energy to the game and really communicate up and down the sheet. Those are our main goals before we start every game," added Landsteiner.

Shuster and Landsteiner finished eighth at the the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, while Polo was a teammate of Shuster's in 2006 when the U.S. men's team won bronze. They plan to use their past experiences as fuel for this year's games.

“Our team has been one of the top teams in the world over the last three seasons. When we go out and play our best, we get results. We need to make sure when we get to Pyeongchang that we're ready to have a peak performance and if we have a peak performance, I would expect to be around when they start handing out those medals," said Shuster.

However, it will be a first for Team Shuster's third, Duluth native Tyler George.

"I've got a couple of teammates that have been there a couple times now. It's just the pageantry, the scene, and getting to showcase your sport on the world stage, beyond anything else that I’ve done before- I think that’s what I’m most for," said George.

On the women's team Team Roth's second Aileen Geving and alternate Cory Christensen, both of Duluth, will also be making their Olympic debut.

“I was with this team at World's last year, so I guess we’re going to be playing similar teams that we played at World's, but the Olympics is definitely going to be a new experience," said Geving.

“I just think it’s awesome having many of us from Duluth on the Olympic team this year. I’ve always said that the Duluth community, the curling community is such a huge support system for all of us. It just means a lot to have that back at home watching us when we’re competing around the World. It really means a lot and it’s a great group of people to represent," said Christensen.

The teams will have about two months to prepare for the Winter Olympics set to take place in early February.


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