Duluth-Based Curling Team Returns to Northland as Olympic Hopefuls

By KBJR News 1

December 18, 2013 Updated Dec 18, 2013 at 10:27 AM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Less than 48 hours after qualifying for the 2014 Olympic Games, the four member Duluth curling team bound for the Olympic Games, made their way through the gates of the Duluth Airport to a homecoming of proud supporters.

It was a homecoming fit for an Olympic team. More than 24 hours of travel, Team Shuster Rink is glad to be back on home ice.

"Coming back and having that support makes it all worthwhile."

The four-member Northland curling team, skipped by Chisholm native John Shuster, and teammates Jeff Isaacson, Jared Zezel and John Landsteiner secured the victory over the Czech Republic on Sunday in Germany, claiming the final berth for the 2014 Sochi Games.

Shuster, who's competed in the last two Olympics, says it's a whirlwind of emotions.

"Everyone was pretty excited after we won the trials, but at the same time we knew we still had to go do that to go to the Olympics. Now that we can actually say we're heading to the Olympics, I think it we were happy, excited and relieved at the same time, definitely the trifecta there," said Schuster.

Coach Tim Muller says the hardest work is just ahead, but it's a shining moment of his curling career to represent the Northland and the US.

"This is awesome being able to wear team USA on your back for the Olympics, not just a World Championship, but the actual Olympics. Being part of team USA and all the sports that are going to be over in Sochi, it's going to be a great experience, I am excited," said Schuster Rink coach Tim Muller.

So as the team sets to embark for the biggest sports stage, Team Shuster says they'll be ready to grab the gold.

"The reason that we do this is to go and represent our country and try to bring back the gold medal and this team works extremely hard and we're looking forward to that opportunity," said Shuster.

The team will take part in tournaments in Scotland and Las Vegas before heading to Sochi in late January.

NBC Sports Network will air a three-hour recap show of the Olympic Qualification Event on Thursday at 8 P.M.

You can catch Team Shuster Rink in action at the Olympics on KBJR 6 and Range 11 beginning on February 7.

Jeremy Brickley
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