GANGNEUNG, South Korea (CNN) — The U.S. men’s curling team, once known as “The Rejects,” pulled off one the great upsets of the PyeongChang Olympics by beating favorites Sweden 10-7 to clinch an historic gold medal.

Team USA had only won a bronze in men’s curling since the sport was reintroduced to the Games in 1998, and skip John Shuster’s side was considered a long-shot to beat the top-ranked Swedish team, having lost to them 10-4 in the group stages.

But the resurgent U.S. quartet had beaten defending champion Canada 5-3 in the semifinal and, in front of a crowd which included Ivanka Trump and Swedish King Carl Gustaf, they outplayed their opponents to secure USA’s ninth gold of these Winter Games.

“We’ve played our best when our backs were up against the wall,” said Tyler George, the USA vice skip.

“We took it to another level this week. Usually we’re fighting and scrapping to get into the playoffs but for five days we were the best team in the world and we did it at the right time.

“We always knew we had it in us, but to do it when it matters most is what I’m most proud of overall.”

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