DULUTH, Minn. - At the Duluth International Airport, they gathered. Families, friends and children -- all inspired.
"I don't think they were doing so great at the start. And then they persevered and won gold after the finish," said one little boy holding a sign.
They were all there, filled with American, Minnesotan and Duluth Pride, to welcome home a group of guys just like them.
"They've got regular jobs. They're blue-collar guys," said Rolf Flaig, a relative of curler Tyler George.
They are blue collar guys who've earned Olympic Gold, led by a skip named John Shuster, who after finishing last in 2010 and next to last in 2014 never gave up.
"It was just so amazing. And for him to prove to everybody that he was so worthy and so great was just amazing," said Shuster's friend Sarah Turner.
"USA curling kind of gave up on them. And they showed the world that you shouldn't give up on them," Flaig said.
"I'm just going to tell him you know, you did it. You did it," Turner said.
As the team walked through the gate, there were cheers and instant tears and the team hugged their families first.
Then, hoisted in the air, Shuster's young son Luke led a cheer, "Give me a U, give me an S, give me an A, who are we?"
And the crowd of 300 people responded, "USA! USA! USA!"
It was the welcome home of their dreams.
"You always dream of moments like this where you’re representing your country, and you come home to so much pride and excitement," Shuster said.
"Just seeing all the kids and the enthusiasm, that's what we do this for," Tyler George said.
And yes, they did it.
"This is a special, special place," Shuster said of the region he calls home.
The celebration continues Tuesday with an organized welcome home party at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center at 5 p.m., with the doors opening at 4:30.