Even though the U.S. women’s curling team finished the 2022 Olympics without a medal, skip Tabitha Peterson said her team is leaving the Games with a lot to be proud of.
Team USA started the women’s tournament 3-0 with wins over the team from the Russian Olympic Committee, Denmark, and China. But as the schedule heated up, the Americans struggled, losing five of their final six games on the way to a 4-5 finish in round robin play.
The U.S.’s other win came over defending silver medalists South Korea.
“Lots of good things. We had a lot of really, really, really good games against the top teams in the world,” Peterson told reporters following her team’s final game Wednesday. “We have to be proud of ourselves for that. We’ve got to just take away all the good things from it and of course learn to go forward.”
Team USA finished the tournament with a 10-7 loss to Japan on Wednesday. Japan led 7-3 until the U.S. scored four points to the it in the seventh. Japan answered with two points in the eighth and eventually forced a concession by Peterson in the tenth end.
“We are bummed,” Peterson said of the Japan game. “We gave it all, we got four (points in the seventh end) to get back in the game, and then they (Japan) stayed tough so we just couldn’t finish it off. It was just kind of a slow start for us.”
Peterson’s team struggled against the top teams in the tournament. They fell to No. 1 seed Switzerland, 9-6, and No. 2 Sweden, 10-4.
“We knew going in it was going to be tough,” Peterson said. “It was kind of whoever was going to be hot this week, because it could be anyone, really, so we were just mediocre, I guess. But we have lots of good takeaways.”
The U.S. has now failed to medal in seven Olympics since curling began at the Games. Peterson’s team finished third at the most recent World Championships, but will leave the Olympics no better than seventh.
But the team still felt the love from fans across the globe. Peterson said she is thankful for those who followed the team’s journey.
“Just a huge thank you and hugs,” she said. “I want to hug everyone when we get home. We felt the love all the way from halfway across the world.”