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Swimmer David Plummer retires after 2 medals in Rio

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David Plummer, who made his first Olympic team in his fourth attempt and won two medals in Rio, has retired, according to USA Swimming.

“I haven’t been in the water since Rio, so this has been true for a while, but now I am saying it out loud and I am admitting it to myself,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam.com. “I am retiring. I am done swimming.

“This was a hard decision to make. I have defined myself as a swimmer since I was five years old, but it comes down to this: I don’t want it any more. The majority of my life I have wanted to swim fast more than I wanted to breathe. I don’t want it that way anymore.”

Plummer, at age 30, became the oldest first-time U.S. Olympic swimmer since 1904 and earned bronze in the 100m backstroke and gold in the 4x100m medley relay.

He did so after his fourth Olympic Trials appearance, following finishing third in the 100m back at the 2012 Olympic Trials, where the top two make the Olympic team.

“I have been told by many people since the Olympics that they were inspired by my perseverance,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam. “I always just thought I was a slow learner. Honestly, I just couldn’t find a way to step away when I still had more to accomplish, more to prove to myself.”

Plummer’s absence shouldn’t hurt the U.S. swim team too much. The last two Olympic 100m back champions are active Americans — Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers. Grevers finished third at last summer’s Olympic Trials, so he couldn’t defend his title in Rio.

“As an American backstroker there was never a shortage of people faster than me,” Plummer wrote, according to Swimswam. “I got to race guys like Ryan Murphy and Aaron Piersol (sic) (and the list goes on and on). I also got to race a guy named Matt Grevers. He is a guy who will haunt your dreams. I actually had nightmares of him out-touching me in races.”

Grevers is slated for his first meet since the Olympic Trials in Austin, Texas, this weekend, with coverage on NBC Sports.

Austin Broadcast Schedule — 7 ET each night
Friday — NBCSN
Saturday — NBCSN
Sunday — NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app

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PyeongChang late night roundup

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It was a terrific ending for the Olympic curling tournament. The U.S. men’s team defied all odds by upsetting Sweden in the final 10-7. Buoyed by John Shuster’s double take out in the eighth end, the United States all but assured gold at 10-5 up.

On the night that the United States won its ninth gold medal during these Olympic Games, Finland won its first. Cross-country skier Livo Niskanen outpaced the rest of the 50 man field in the 17th kilometer. OAR skier Alexander Bolushnov gave him a fight in the final kilometers, but he too was eventually left behind.


Curling: USA wins first-ever curling gold 

The USA men’s curling team’s improbable Olympic run has concluded in glory. John Shuster’s squad looked like they were in control from the very onset of the match, forcing Sweden to make errors. The highlight of the match: Shuster’s final stone in the eighth end to put the USA well out of reach with a 10-5 lead.

The United States started competition 2-4 and looked well out of contention to make the playoffs, but an incredible run of three wins saw them get into the playoffs on the final day.

Recap: USA men’s curling wins Olympic gold 

The USA weren’t the only surprise medal winners today. Japan won the country’s first-ever Olympic medal after defeating Great Britain.

It all came down to two steals from Japan in the final two ends, with Briton skip Eve Muirhead missing her final stone to give the victory to Japan.

Men’s Tournamenet

USA def. SWE 10-7

Women’s Tournament

JPN def. GBR 5-3

Cross-Country: Niskanen wins men’s 50km 

Finnish skier Livo Niskanen’s pace was too much for nearly the entire field on Friday night. The Finn broke from the pack, along with Alexey Poltoranen, in the 17th kilometer and continued to stay out front. After Poltoranen ran out of gas, it was OAR athlete Alexander Bolushnov who erased a 30 second gap to challenge the Finn.

It wasn’t until the last kilometre that a seemingly-fatigued Niskanen made his final move to brush of Bolushnov to cross the finish line.

It was a very disappointing day for the Norwegians, who’ve dominated the sport this year. Not one Norwegian landed on the podium, including gold medal favorite Martin Sundsby.

Full men’s 50km recap available here 

Speed Skating: Takagi, Lee win inaugural mass start 

Making its Olympic debut, the speed skating mass start proved to be an erratic event as several skaters collided and crashed out of the competition.

The final race is simple: first three skaters to cross the finish line win the medals.

Estonia’s Saskia Alusalu made the initial burst of energy in the race, but was caught up to in the final three laps. The women’s champion was decided by a final sprint, when Japan’s Nana Takagi beat world champion Kim Bo-Reum and Irene Schouten.

Women’s mass start recap available here 

Lee Song-Hoon won the men’s tournament, ensuring that the speed skating program would not have as sour an ending as the short track. Unlike the women’s race, the men’s skaters stuck together as a train for most of the race until the final three laps.

In the end, Lee came in with too much speed to be overtaken by any of the chasing competitors.

Men’s mass start recap available here 

USA wins gold in men’s curling

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For the first time in history, the United States won the Olympic gold medal in curling.

A week ago, it didn’t seem like that would happen. Sitting at 2-4 and with a game against behemoth Canada coming up, John Shuster captained the United States to three consecutive wins (over Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain) to squeak into the semifinals. From there, they took down Great Britain before completing the run against Sweden in the gold medal game.

Tied at 5-5 in the eighth end, Shuster was able to hit both of Sweden’s rocks out of the house, giving the United States an incredible five points and a 10-5 lead heading into the ninth.

NBCOlympics.com: Watch: Team USA scores five points in eighth end

After that, it was all about protecting the lead. Just a few minutes later Swedish skip Niklas Edin conceded the game, and it was the United States standing on top of the podium for the first time ever in the sport of curling.

Click here to read the full recap from the gold medal game