Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

United States siblings team up for new curling event

Curlers at the 1998 Nagano and 1924 Chamonix Winter Olympics United States siblings team up for new curling event
Shannon Reynolds | 09 February, 2018, 04:03

Matt Hamilton encouraged his younger sister Becca to start curling when they were both teenagers.

Olympic curling action is heating up and Friday will give casual fans a look into some important action between the eight countries represented by mixed doubles teams.

"I'm not anxious about the mixed doubles", McWilliams said. There are eight ends per game, and each team throws five stones per end - unlike regular curling, in which teams throw eight stones and play 10 ends.

While mixed doubles is only making its debut in the Pyeongchang Olympics, Lawes and Morris each have a gold medal from the traditional single-sex version of the game.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the pair stressed that their strength lies in teamwork. Matt, 28, and Becca, 27, decided they wanted to compete together. Really happy being out on the ice and it paid off for us.

When it comes their dynamic on the ice, Matt proudly bears the role of team jokester while Becca remains the quieter of the two.

"Blood's thicker than water", Matt Hamilton said after the match.

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Asked which of the two takes the initiative during playing, both raised their hands. We played a more aggressive call.

Becca's big brother got into curling before she did.

He's been curling for 16 years, with Becca on the ice for about 14 years. He initially wasn't interested, but after trying it at his friend's recommendation, he was captivated by the depth of the sport - often described as chess on ice. The single-gender version of curling will begin later in the games.

"Just to go to the Olympics, and be there when other sports are competing and be part of that community with United States of America on our back, it's just going to be a dream come true", she said. When a photographer posted a picture of Matt barking at Becca during a recent competition in Ontario, their mother weighed in on Twitter.

Matt was part of the USA men's team that won the bronze medal in the 2016 world championship, beating Japan for third place. Either player can shoot first and last but nearly all teams have the woman throw first and the man throw the three rocks in the middle. "I think we're talking millimetres", said BBC commentator Steve Cram.

The American team is one of eight that qualified in mixed curling.

The siblings made their mark in the history books Thursday morning by winning the first ever Olympic mixed doubles match, 9-3, against Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, a married couple representing Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation.

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