BLAINE, Minn. (KMSP) - For the past few days, the eyes of the curling world have been on Minnesota.
The US Olympic Curling Team Trials were held in Blaine to determine who will represent the United States in a new category in the sport at the winter games.
The brother-sister team of Matt and Becca Hamilton from Wisconsin faced off against John Shuster and Corey Christiansen from the Duluth area for the right to represent the United States.
For the first time ever, mixed doubles will compete along with the men's and women's curling teams in PyeongChang South Korea next year.
"It’s huge not only for our country but for a lot of countries that don't have the strongest men's and women's teams,” CEO of USA Curling Rick Patzke said. “Countries that have qualified for the Olympics that otherwise wouldn't have a curling presence—Denmark, Czech Republic—teams like that.”
The goal of the sport is to get your stones closest to the center of the ring, sort of like bocce ball.
While one player throws the stone, the other sweeps the ice in front of it to get it to go farther or straighter.
"The crowds have been amazing,” John Bentos of Fogerty Curling Club said. “300-400 people coming out to watch mixed doubles which is a new discipline in the Olympics is amazing. It’s been great to see. Hope that means a lot more people will be watching in the Olympics.”
In the end, the Hamiltons won the gold, meaning they won't have to put their Olympic dreams on ice much for longer.
"It’s great. We know it’s going to be a lot of work. A lot of curling and time on the ice. So we trained our whole lives for this. It's a dream come true," Matt Hamilton said.
All four players in the mixed doubles final qualified for the men’s and women's curling teams as well which means the Hamiltons will have a chance to win two medals in PyeongChang.