GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — The tension was thick. The mood was glacial. And the siblings were sparring.
“Hey, Becca. Come here,” American curler Matt Hamilton said to his frustrated sister, whose stone had just glided past its intended target. “Don’t roll your eyes at me.”
That eye roll turned into crossed arms, which turned into Wisconsin’s beloved brother-sister curling duo standing far apart on the Olympic ice, leaning on their respective brooms and diligently avoiding eye contact. Had it happened in just about any other sport, this fleeting spat during Sunday’s Olympic mixed doubles match would have gone unnoticed by the public. But in curling, every player wears a microphone.
And what fans get is a uniquely intimate view of the athletes as all their banter, bickering and baffling strategy-talk is carried across the airwaves to viewers worldwide.