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Olympics: After crashing in 2010, U.S. curling hopes to rise again in ‘14
Olympics » Americans targeting a medal — and redemption — in Sochi

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Since curling debuted at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics USA Curling’s membership has increased 41 percent, to about 17,000 registered players at 165 clubs in 42 states, according to Derek Brown, Director of High performance.

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The Scottish Brown defeated Shuster’s team at the 2010 Olympics competing for Great Britain. He was hired in 2011 to implement a long-term strategy for developing and sustaining world-class teams while growing the sport domestically.

"After Vancouver, there was huge interest created even though the U.S. teams weren’t winning medals," Brown said.

"Just the exposure of the sport, everyone wanted to try it. There’s traditionally a big bump in membership after the Olympics. All of our clubs are gearing up for new members and people wanting to try the sport for the first time."

Brown likes the makeup of the 2014 team and the hard road it took to Sochi.

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Shuster is the only three-time Olympian and won bronze in 2006 while Isaacson is experience his second Games.

Debuting is Jared Zezel, a Bemidji State student from Hibbing, John Landsteiner, a civil engineer in Duluth and Brown of Madison, Wis.

The team rolled over heavy competition at the Olympic trials in North Dakota in November to advance to the qualifying tournament December in Germany, where a top-two finish was required to make it to Sochi.

Shuster guided them to five straight victories to close out the tournament and punch their ticket to Russia.

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