It was an emotional day, not just for John Shuster, but also for his family.
Shuster, a five-time Olympian who helped lead the men's curling team to its first gold medal during the 2018 Winter Games, learned Wednesday that he and fellow Team USA athlete Brittany Bowe had been selected as U.S. flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony at the 2022 Winter Games, considered one of the Olympics' greatest honors.
Shuster said he was surprised by his teammates in a hotel room in Beijing and video captured the emotional moment both he and his family learned the news.
"My heart is beating super fast," an emotional Shuster can be heard saying in the footage.
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Later, tears were flowing again as he announced the news virtually to his family.
"I have some news for you," he says in the video to his family. "I have been chosen to carry the flag for the United States."
Shuster's wife is seen on the video bursting into tears, while his two sons shout with excitement.
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Team Shuster won the first ever Olympic gold in curling for the United States at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, kicking off a curling craze across America in the process. The five-time Olympian has competed in every Winter Games since making his Olympic debut in 2006. That year, he won bronze at the Torino Olympics.
"Being elected as one of the flag bearers is a tremendous honor," Shuster said. "When thinking back to my Opening Ceremony experiences, I cannot help but be so proud to lead Team USA into an Olympic Winter Games. Joining the incredible group of Team USA leaders, especially since it was chosen by my Team USA teammates, is one of the greatest honors of my sporting career."
The Opening Ceremony will be held Friday, Feb. 4 at National Stadium, where more than 150 athletes on the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team are set to walk in the Parade of Nations.
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