The city of Duluth began what appears to be a 24-hour party early Monday evening when John Shuster and other members of Team USA's gold medal curling team arrived at the airport. Hundreds of people turned out, Shuster made an appearance on ESPN2 and there's a welcome home at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center at 4:30 p.m.
The welcome is billed as being for all of the U.S. Olympians from the region, but everyone knows the real stars are the curlers.
In a Duluth News Tribune story by John Lundy, Duluth Curling Club employee Jessi Ennen said, "The curling club is blowing up. We get phone calls every five seconds now, and it's crazy."
Hundreds of relatives, friends and curling fans gathered at Duluth International Airport to welcome home members of the curling team that won gold over Sweden in the final that kept thousands of Minnesotans awake in the early hours of Saturday morning, including gatherings at Duluth's curling club and elsewhere. Shuster and teammate Tyler George said they were overwhelmed to see the crowd at the airport
Duluth News Tribune photo
"In all honesty, it was us against the world," Shuster told Mike Golic this morning on ESPN2, during an interview that careened between curling talk and discussing the backgrounds of his team members.
"It was fun to ignite curling fever around America. It's been so much fun," Shuster added. "People truly get into sports and you give them a good story. ... How can you not love Matt Hamilton and his giant mustache and his giant personality?"
Carlos Gonzalez photo
If you've been bitten by the curling bug, there's a chance to see Team Shuster in action next month in Winnipeg. It will be participating, along with teams from silver-medal winning Sweden and fourth-place Canada, in a tournament that's billed as being part of Canada's Grand Slam of Curling.
And if you just want to see some curling, the U.S. Nationals are this weekend in Fargo.
And, yes, Shuster is going to Disney World.
"Don't tell my kids," he said on ESPN2. "But we're going in May."