For many Americans, one of the lasting memories from the 2018 Winter Olympics will be the U.S. Men’s curling teams first-ever gold medal performance.
With the Land of 10K lakes chomping at the bit to welcome the Duluth-based squad home, the champs flew Delta Air out of PyeongChang. Prior to departure, a request from USA Curling’s official Twitter account inquired about getting their seats upgraded.
— USA Curling (@usacurl) February 24, 2018
Shooters are going to shoot. I love it. In my opinion, these boys earned a first class journey back to the United States. Plus, what’s the worst Delta can say? No?
Like the curling gold medalists did to Canada in their semi-final match, the airline shut them down. Per their spokesman, there were no seats available for upgrade. I’m not going to go after Delta on this one for two reasons. First and foremost, they can’t just magically create additional seats. Second of all, that’s the precedent that has been set forth by the world’s best curling team.
Hoping to put this to rest…we were never denied anything, simply asked about upgrades, were told very politely the flight was full, and that was that! We hold @Delta in the same high regard we always have. They had a really nice gift presentation for us when we boarded! https://t.co/whsgYJdDdW
— Tyler George (@tgeorge1323) February 26, 2018
At least, as you can see from the below video, the airline did provide everyone on board with a pretty classy champagne toast:
A champagne toast for Team USA curling gold medalists on flight home from Korea. #Pyeongchang2018 #Olympics #StribOly18 #Curling@usacurl @StribSports @tgeorge1323 @MattJamilton @TeamShuster @jlandsteiner pic.twitter.com/j7DW4jdXmS
— Carlos Gonzalez (@CarlosGphoto) February 26, 2018
Also, the company provided “VIP treatment” upon the Men and Women’s teams landing in the states.
— Rebecca Hamilton (@heccabamilton) February 26, 2018
While all of that is fine and dandy, the highlight of the voyage for Team Skip, John Shuster, had to have come from an individual by the name of Gary Balter.
What the 71st largest company on the Fortune 500 couldn’t get accomplished, the Florida resident could. The gentleman and scholar, that is Mr. Balter, gave up his first class seat for the Minnesota native and UMD alum:
Stranger who traded me seats was a kind gentleman from Hollywood, FL by the name of Gary Balter. Can you please help me give Gary a big Twitter Thank You? #MondayKindness #PyeongChang2018 https://t.co/frVjrWNVGz
— John Shuster (@Shoostie2010) February 26, 2018
How about the Minnesota Nice from the Florida resident? Good shit.
Thank you, Gary! You’re the real MVP.
What a storybook ending to a Cinderella story. Not even the creator of The Simpsons could have foreseen this final curveball.
No one could have predicted that the US would win curling gold, right? Actually, the Simpsons did in a February 14, 2010 episode. They beat Sweden, who the US happened to beat to win gold today (H/T @dansnierson) pic.twitter.com/0gkhycQ3xF
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 25, 2018