Photos: First ever mixed doubles curlers headed to the Olympics


Cory Christensen and John Shuster take their turn.
1 Cory Christensen and John Shuster take their turn during the 2018 U.S. Olympic team trials final for mixed doubles curling on Sunday. 
Becca and Matt Hamilton line up their shot.
2 Becca and Matt Hamilton line up their shot. Supporters of curling see mixed doubles' entry into the Winter Olympics as evidence that curling is growing in popularity. 
The final teams stand before the start of the finals.
3 Cory Christensen and John Shuster, left, and Matt and Becca Hamilton before the start of the 2018 U.S. Olympic team trials finals. 
Extra curling stones are on standby during the Olympic trials.
4 Extra curling stones are on standby during the finals. The basics in mixed doubles curling are about the same as in the more well-known team curling: Curlers wear one slick shoe and one shoe that grips the ice. They kick off against the ice like skateboarders. 
John Shuster guides as Cory Christenen sweeps during the finals.
5 John Shuster guides as Cory Christenen sweeps. One partner glides along the lane of ice and launches the stone, which looks like a tea kettle. The other partner slides alongside, sweeping in front of the stone, trying to guide the stone as close as possible to the center of what looks like a big bullseye, which is known as the button. The other team tries to knock the stone out of the circle. 
Dwayne Schmidt dons a Santa Claus outfit while sweeping the ice.
6 Ice maintenance specialist Dwayne Schmidt dons a Santa Claus outfit while clearing the ice. 
Noisemakers sit on standby during the 2018 U.S. Olympic trials semifinal.
7 The crowd brought along cowbells, the traditional noisemaker in curling. 
John Shuster and Cory Christensen assess the ice.
8 John Shuster and Cory Christensen assess the ice during the Olympic team trial finals. 
An official keeps time during the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Final.
9 An official keeps time during the 2018 U.S. Olympic team trials finals. 
Matthew Ammon watches the finals  in his curling stone hat.
10 Matthew Ammon watches the trials in his curling stone hat. 
John Shuster consults with teammate Cory Christensen during the final.
11 Trailing behind Becca and Matt Hamilton by two points, John Shuster consults with teammate Cory Christensen. Players say mixed doubles curling is faster, with much less sweeping than on the four-person teams. 
Sarah Shuster and Luke Shuster watch their dad, John Shuster, compete.
12 Sarah Shuster and Luke Shuster watch their dad, John Shuster, compete. Supporters of curling see the mixed doubles entry into the Winter Olympics as evidence that curling is growing in popularity. 
Vicky Persinger shouts out directions to her teammate Jared Zezel.
13 Vicky Persinger shouts out directions to her teammate Jared Zezel. Jared's sister, Jahnna Zezel, of Hibbing, said curling is "pretty much like horseshoes but on ice, with a slippery shoe." When her brother and his partner would make a good play on the ice, Zezel would blast a horn she calls the "Honker 3,000." 
Brooms used by the ice maintenance crew sit on the side of the rink.
14 A variety of brooms and brushes used by the ice maintenance crew sit on the side of the rink during the semifinals. 
John Shuster and Cory Christensen sweep hard in front of their stone.
15 Shuster and Christensen sweep hard in front of their stone during the semifinals. They went on to defeat Vicky Persinger and Jared Zezel 7-6 to advance to the final. 
Ginny McDonald displays a flag signed by John Shuster.
16 Ginny McDonald displays a flag signed by John Shuster she brought with her to watch the semifinals. Shuster, his teammate Cory Christensen, and their families have been selling the flags as part of a fundraising effort to help pay their way to PyeongChang, South Korea, next year. 
Becca and Matt Hamilton cap off a dominant year in curling with a 6-5 win.
17 Becca and Matt Hamilton cap off a dominant year in curling with a 6-5 win over John Shuster and Cory Christensen. 
The crowd erupts as the Hamiltons defeat John Shuster and Cory Christensen
18 The crowd at the Fogerty Ice Arena erupts in cheers as Becca and Matt Hamilton defeat John Shuster and Cory Christensen 6-5. 
Sibling curling duo Matt and Becca Hamilton celebrate a 6-5 win.
19 Sibling curling duo Matt and Becca Hamilton celebrate the win that will send them to Olympic competition. The Hamiltons are both already going to the Winter Olympics as members of the men's and women's teams.