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Victory Tour Forces US Curling Team to Miss National Championships

The first thing that the US curling team learned after taking home the Olympic gold in PyeongChang was that winning has its own consequences. That’s why instead of competing in the national championships in Fargo, they are being shuttled to different venues around New York City for appearances.

For instance, the rang the opening bell at the NY Stock Exchange, they guested in several TV shows, they posed for Sports Illustrated, appeared at the NHL game, played an exhibition game in Bryant Park in Manhattan.

How about that cameo by Matt Hamilton and Tyler George in a Broadway play?

After the East Coast, the team will then go on a media blitz in the West Coast, which probably means that they will miss the World Curling Championships in Las Vegas, as well.

But they understand their role in promoting the sport to a wider audience, and hopefully inspiring the youth into taking up curling.

John Landsteiner conceded that it was disappointing that he couldn’t play in the national championships when he never missed a single event for the past 12 years.

“We keep kind of joking about it: ‘Well, we could be in Fargo right now,’” he added. Nevertheless, he appreciated the kind of reception that got wherever they go. “It all feels pretty cool to a bunch of small-town guys from Minnesota.”

On Tuesday, the team received a hero’s welcome in their hometown of Duluth, Minnesota.

Tyler George recognized that they are more cognizant of their responsibility now to the sport.

“The world’s watching. When we’re playing at worlds, we’re playing in front of curling crowds,” the liquor store owner said. “When we’re playing at the Olympics, it’s in front of everybody and a lot of those people are now curling fans because of this.”

In fact, the Duluth Curling Club’s phones could not stop ringing from parents inquiring about how to join.

John Shuster, meanwhile, was given an honorary key to Duluth. Of course, he has the key to his hometown of Superior, Wisconsin as well.