BEIJING, China — Team USA has scored its first victory of the 2022 Winter Olympics after upsetting Australia 6 to 5 in a mixed doubles curling match.
The win on the first day of competition was made possible by Olympics-newcomers Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys.
It appeared Australia would hold the lead after Persinger missed a takeout in the sixth, but she redeemed herself with a double-takeout in the seventh that eventually led to a 5-5 tie.
On Team USA's final throw of the eighth end, Persinger put the rock right on the button, offering Australia a seemingly easy pick-off attempt with hammer for the win. However, Australian Tahli Gill missed that attempt allowing the U.S. to secure the final point and its first win of the Winter Games.
The victory came just hours after Team USA announced that it had selected curler John Shuster as one of the official flag bearers at the Opening Ceremony, scheduled to take place on Friday, Feb. 4. Shuster will be the first American curler to be a flag bearer.
Although traditionally a sport with a rather niche audience, the U.S. curling squad garnered national attention and praise after they defeated Sweden in the Pyeonchang Winter Games, securing the first Olympic gold medal for curling in the nation's history.
The U.S. mixed doubles team will be back on the ice at 8:05 p.m. EST Wednesday night against Italy. Australia will also return to the ice at 8:05 p.m. EST Wednesday against China.
When is the Opening Ceremony?
The Beijing Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday, Feb. 4. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. local time in China, which is 6:30 a.m. ET or 3:30 a.m. PT.
Just like the Tokyo Olympics, the Opening Ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC across all time zones, with coverage starting at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT.
An enhanced version of the festivities will re-air in Primetime starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will then re-air at 12:38 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, Feb. 5.