Culture

U.S. Men's Curling Team Wins Olympic Gold, But There's Something Wrong With Their Medals...

USA's Joe Polo (l-r), John Landsteiner, Matt Hamilton, Tyler George and John Shuster celebrate winning gold at the men's curling finals between the US and Sweden at the Curling Centre in Gangneung, South Korea, 24 February 2018. Photo by: Peter Kneffel/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

On Saturday morning, the U.S. men’s curling team took the Olympic gold for the first time in history. Even though they won with the world watching — and both first daughter Ivanka Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in attendance — their victory was soured by a hilarious error on behalf of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Shortly after receiving their gold medals, the curling team did a double take.

“The US men’s curling team just realized the gold medals they were awarded moments ago say ‘women’s curling gold medal’ on them. Their coaches are working on it,” ESPN’s senior writer Alyssa Roenigk tweeted.

Even so, nothing could dampen the spirits of these historic victors. They laughed as they spoke with NBC photojournalist Kenny Holmes. “LOL! Team USA curling laughs as they tell me they were given the Women’s Gold Medals! They are happy to wait for the swap,” Holmes tweeted.

One Twitter user joked about the Olympic tradition of biting into gold medals, to ensure their quality. “I hope the guys didn’t bite into those Gold medals too hard before the exchange. I’m sure the women who win the Gold medals won’t be too appreciative of the guys’ teeth marks or saliva on their medals!” Peter Bradfield tweeted. “Congratulations to the U.S. curling team!”

The men’s team did eventually get their proper medals, and whichever women’s team wins the gold will not be cheated from theirs.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders also tweeted congratulations to the men’s curling team.

She and first daughter Ivanka Trump took a selfie cheering on the men’s curling team, to capture the historic moment.

Despite the historic Olympic gender mix-up, this was an important victory for Team USA, and especially for team lead John Shuster. A four-time Olympian, Shuster won bronze in 2006, but his underwhelming 2014 performance in Sochi got him dropped from the national program.

Shuster lost 35 pounds and formed his own team, which was branded “The Rejects.” The team, made up of Shuster, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner, and Tyler George (along with alternate Joe Polo), was an underdog going into this year’s Olympics, but on Saturday they took home the gold.

“Our team has had our backs against the wall plenty of times,” Shuster told The New York Times. “But come on! It’s the Olympics! Who’s going to give up hope? This team is by far the most resilient group of guys.”

Medals — even women’s medals mistakenly awarded to men — speak louder than words.