Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


Top moments from Team USA's run to the curling gold

Top moments from Team USA's run to the curling gold Top moments from Team USA's run to the curling gold
Bennie Garza | 26 February, 2018, 07:23

Japan defeated Britain to claim the bronze medal. Kim and her teammates - YeongMi Kim, SeonYeong Kim, and KyeongAe Kim - could all be seen crying alongside their tearful coaches after making the final point for the win as the crowd erupted in cheers, much like they had done all game and all tournament.

South Korea's dream run to the women's final, a spectacularly-achieved first gold for the United States and a third triumph in four Games for Sweden's women were the headline stories of the 18-day curling competition at the Winter Olympics.

The game was one of Swedish vengeance.

Korea was the highest scoring team in round robin play, and showed off their scoring prowess early, knocking down a hit-and-stay for three points in the first end. With charismatic Kim biting her lip pensively her opposite number Hasselborg secured another point to put the Swedes 4-1 up at the halfway point of the 10-end game.

The Garlic Girls, affectionately nicknamed for their garlic-producing home county, were between a stone and a hard place by the ninth round.

Uiseong's early adoption of the sport has led to the Garlic Girls blazing a trail for curling, a sport born centuries ago in Scotland and which has now caught fire in South Korea. Both teams exchanged enthusiastic handshakes and pats on the back, among cheers throughout the Gangneung arena.

Reflecting South Koreans' new-found interest in curling and the players, the Gangneung Curling Centre was almost packed with spectators for the games.

The Swedish women are among the sport's dominant powers, with five medals _ three gold _ in the six Olympics since curling joined the Winter Games.

Their hometown of Uiseong - a rural town of around 54,000 people famous for garlic farming - built a curling centre in 2006 with funding from the local government.

"In the beginning of the competition, the main focus was to beat every team we faced", Kim said after the semifinal victory.

Half the country reportedly tuned in to watch the semi-final against Japan as Kim Eun-jung, worshipped for her inscrutable body language, threaded a superb extra-end last stone to clinch victory for the "Garlic Girls", so named for the growing region they all hail from. Hasselborg was expertly assisted by Sara McManus, Agnes Knochenhauer, Sofia Mabergs and Maria Prytz.

The Swedish men's team took silver in Pyeongchang, after a stunning upset by the US which earned gold.

"I wasn't interested in either curling or the Olympics but after watching curling games at home, I've started to like them, they're so cool", said Park Jin-ju, a 31-year-old housewife who came with her husband to watch the game.

The Americans were so happy they did not even mind when they were mistakenly awarded the women's medals by mistake.

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