Between now and Friday's Opening Ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we'll be profiling some of Minnesota's 19 Olympic athletes.
The first group of athletes we're getting to know are the U.S. men's curling team. This group is made up of four Minnesotans – Jeff Isaacson of Virginia, John Landsteiner of Duluth, Jared Zezel of Hibbing and John Shuster of Duluth.
The Pioneer Press provided some insight on what each athlete does when they aren't curling. Isaacson is a science teacher, Zezel attends Bemidji State University, Landsteiner is a civil engineer and Shuster works as a manager of a bar.
Shuster is entering his third consecutive appearance in the Olympics, as documented by CBS. He helped the U.S. team win the bronze medal in 2006. In 2010, he and the Americans finished dead last.
“After it all went bad, I kind of had a moment where you had to sit back and decide whether this is something that you want to keep doing, because it was so bad,” Shuster said. “Like, I mean, it blew up so big.”
Shuster is out to avenge his disappointing 2010 Olympic performance.
''The team won't make the same mistakes (as in 2010) when we get those opportunities," he told Yahoo! Sports before leaving for Sochi. "We have to capitalize on them. I think the more you play at world events and top-caliber events, the more comfortable you are playing in them. And I'm getting to the point where I'm pretty darn comfortable.''
Shuster and his teammates qualified for the Olympics in Germany in December. He told the Star Tribune that the "butterflies" he got after qualifying for the Olympics again is exactly why he plays his favorite sport.
“These guys worked their tails off,” Shuster told NBC, of his teammates. “They’re some of the best in the business."
Want to keep up with Minnesotans at the Olympics? KARE 11 created a list of athletes to follow on Twitter.