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NBC celebrates an improbable curling victory for US men

February 25, 2018

United States's skip John Shuster reacts during the men's final curling match against Sweden at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

NEW YORK (AP) — Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

CURLING GOLD: “Two days ago it was unlikely,” NBC’s Jason Knapp said as the American men’s curling team clinched a gold medal . “Now it is undeniable.” How unlikely? The team had lost four of its first six games in South Korea but got hot at the right time. NBC replayed the late-night victory Saturday afternoon and team members visited with daytime host Rebecca Lowe in the network studio. John Shuster spoke movingly of overcoming past failures to win with a brilliant late-game throw. “I just decided my story wasn’t going to end this way,” he said. Bleary-eyed, five team members returned later for a talk with Mike Tirico that ended with an ovation from NBC’s backstage crew.

SKATING GALA: Nice touch for NBC to assign Scott Hamilton to the skating gala. He’s been nothing but class since losing the top commentator role to Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.

MASS START? Mass confusion. The final speedskating competition was a crowded race called the mass start that left us baffled. Tom Hammond and Joey Cheek needed to explain the race’s rules before it started. What is a sprint lap and why do you get points for it? What is the strategy involved?

BOBSLED HISTORY: John Morgan is going to need a few weeks to catch his breath after the bobsled competition. A tie for silver in the four-man race? “We’re witnessing history here!” he said. The “house of speed has had us on the edge of our seats for every race,” he said. Come to think of it, the “house of speed” should be renamed the “house of excitement.” Meanwhile, it will be the last bobsled most of Morgan’s viewers see for four years.

BACK IN TIME: As the competition winds down, NBC rolls out some of its prepared features. On Saturday afternoon, a Rob Lowe-narrated film told the story of the men’s and women’s figure skating competition at the Calgary Olympics in 1988 and, most interestingly, what happened to the participants since then. Serena Williams will narrate a film on 1968 on Sunday afternoon.

YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY: Was that a tray of cupcakes on the table in front of Tirico, or are we just getting delusional?

RATINGS: NBC did not have a viewership estimate available for Friday night’s telecast. The overnight ratings from the nation’s largest markets were the lowest for the games so far. It did, however, estimate that 1.6 million people watched the curling finale, which began at 1:30 a.m. Eastern on Saturday. That means Saturday was an early night to bed for a lot of people in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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