Curling: Canadian mixed doubles pair suffer first Olympic loss

American Matt Hamilton right sweeps the ice as his curling teammate and sister Becca watches

American Matt Hamilton right sweeps the ice as his curling teammate and sister Becca watches

Leading the American mixed curling team is the brother, sister duo of Matt and Becca Hamilton of McFarland, Wisconsin.

The Hamiltons are back on the ice later on Thursday to take on Canada.

"To be able to slide over the Olympic rings and to feel as though we're part of something historic is really powerful and special", said Lawes.

The IOC forced Russian Federation to participate at these Games as neutrals as punishment for the "systematic manipulation" of the anti-doping system at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. "We'll come back stronger". "It's something I'll never forget".

Cotter's World Curling Tour teammate John Morris, a Calgary firefighter, will play with Kaitlyn Lawes of Winnipeg.

"We weren't in a great position", Morris said. We wanted to make sure we gave Kaitlyn a shot for two so we played a more aggressive call that would have had a better result and I missed it the wrong way.

The stands at the Gangneung Curling Centre for Thursday's morning draw that started at 9:05 a.m. local time filled out soon after the first stones hit the ice, with the South Korean fans cheering their team onto a 9-4 victory over Finland.

Though Canada has very little history in mixed doubles curling - the country's first medal at the world championship, a silver, came from Reid Carruthers and Joanne Courtney a year ago - it has to be considered a medal favourite, given the quality of its team members.

The appearance of Russian athletes under the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) moniker is one of two top geopolitical-related aspects of the Olympics, along with the participation of North Korean athletes in a joint team with their South Korean counterparts.

They are Canada's first competitors at these games, which officially open Friday.

"It was fantastic to hear the roars from the Korean fans".

But the IOC did invite 169 Russians without any history of doping violations to compete under a neutral flag using the name "Olympic Athletes from Russia", provided they meet strict guidelines on doping.

"Unfortunately there's not free bingo spaces here", said Lawes.

"We're going to have to be playing well and make a few more shots out there".

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