BEIJING (NEXSTAR) — In Pyeongchang four years ago, Team USA curler Matt Hamilton won gold and gained fame for both his endearing personality and his mustache.
But for the Beijing Olympics, his famous mustache is covered up as COVID-19 once again changes the Olympic experience for athletes.
“Just the fact that we’re wearing masks, it’s harder to see facial expressions,” Hamilton said. “There’d be times you’d walk by somebody you knew or have recognized and you’d …. give them a look and they’d be like, ‘Hey, how’s it going.’ … But now everyone is in their own lane.”
Hamilton is a sociable guy, quick to make friends with teammates and opponents. Curlers from the Swedish team even attended his wedding.
He knows a positive COVID-19 test can knock him out of the Olympics, but the pandemic will not spoil his experience.
“I think there is a little bit less of the mingling. But there’s still a really cool overall sense of unity and team out there, amongst the US team, and then just amongst everybody there,” Hamilton said. “There’s just a really great common respect that I don’t think this atmosphere of COVID can’t take away from the Olympics.”