USA Curling announced Tuesday that Tyler George of Duluth, vice-skip of the U.S. men’s curling team that won an Olympic gold medal in February, is taking a break from the sport’s elite level. His spot on John Shuster’s team will be filled by Chris Plys, another Duluth native.
George, 35, said he needs to “recharge the battery’’ and allow his body to heal from the wear and tear of 20 uninterrupted seasons. He plans to serve as an ambassador for the sport. Over the past four seasons, Shuster, George, John Landsteiner of Duluth and Matt Hamilton of McFarland, Wis., won three U.S. titles and a world championships bronze medal in addition to the first Olympic gold medal in curling for the U.S.
Plys, 30, was an Olympic alternate in 2010. He played last season with Team Heath McCormick, runner-up to Shuster at the Olympic trials, and has won medals at the world junior championships and World University Games.