2022 Winter Olympics: Italy defeats mistake-prone USA

Team USA suffered their first defeat in the mixed doubles curling competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics as the team of Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys fell to Italy 8-4.

The Italians, consisting of Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner, jumped out to a 5-1 lead and watched the Americans rallied to leave themselves with a chance heading into the final end, but held on for their victory in Beijing.

Italy wins on Beijing debut, drops US to 1-1

Constantini had a successful hold shot in the first that forced the U.S. to throw away their hammer and settle for just one point in the first end.

The Italians broke things open in the second. Persinger missed a takeout attempt with the Americans' final throw, giving Italy four points and a 4-1 lead through two ends.

The early part of the game was all about missed opportunities by the U.S. On their second to last throw of the third, they had a chance for a big takeout in a crowded house, but their throw hit the guard and ultimately went out of play.

Italy responded with a perfect throw that curled inside, and Persinger’s hammer throw didn’t have enough on it to clear the house, allowing Italy to steal a point in the fourth and extend their lead to four.

The U.S. began a comeback attempt by scoring one in the fourth and stealing another in the fifth to trail 5-3 going into the sixth.

In the sixth, Constantini made a costly mistake. The U.S. placed their final rock just outside of the button alone in the house, which would have given Italy a perfect chance for a takeout to score at least one.

As she was releasing he rock, the 22-year old Italian had a hogline violation on the hammer throw that allowed the U.S. to score one for the third straight end and cut Italy’s lead to one.

Another mistake – a burned rock by Mosaner – cost Italy a chance at multiple points in the seventh. Instead, they settled for just one to enter the final end up 6-4.

Needing two points in the eighth to tie and force an extra end, Persinger’s takeout attempt on the final throw missed, giving Italy two points and the win.