Whitestown, N.Y. - The U.S. Men's Curling Team stunned Sweden early Saturday morning in South Korea to win the first gold medal for the U.S. in curling, and just hours later many who watched that historic event on television took to the curling ice themselves for the very first time in Whitestown.
The Utica Curling Club on Clark Mills Rd. held its Olympic Open House on Saturday, as it does once during every Winter Olympics, but this was the first time people at the club were celebrating a U.S. gold medal, and amazingly it came just hours earlier.
Utica Curling Club Board Member Mitch Rubinovich says it was a long time coming, but the historic match was well worth the wait, "Everyone is proud of the American men."
Rubinovich says usually the Olympic Open House draws a good crowd of between 200 and 300 people, but this year's attendance shattered all previous records with a total of 390.
The U.S. men were led by John Shuster of Wisconsin, who has at history at the Utica Curling Club.
Utica Curling Club Board Member and Open House Chairperson Carol Jones says Saturday morning's U.S. win was amazing, "It just brings chills to me, and the interesting thing about that is that Shuster won his very first national right here in Utica and we have a little bit of pride knowing that he made it to the gold medal."
Among those trying out the curling ice for the first time on Saturday was Barb Jones of Syracuse. Jones says the gold medal inspired her to make the trip, "It was amazing, I'm so happy and so proud of our country for getting to that position and getting us the gold and it's great."