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Can’t Skip Shuster!

Shuster (as defined by Urban Dictionary):

1. to choke

2. to miss the game winning shot

3. to repeatedly miss the game winning shot

4. a person who does not do well under pressure

(missing the game winning free throw with .1 seconds left on the clock)


– “You really shustered that one”


– “You are such a shuster!

Antonym: Clutch

Shuster (as defined by Khanversations):

An Olympic curler who befriends a group of Samsung Mobile Explorers and tells them his life story while dining one late night in the USA House, only to find what he revealed written in a blog post weeks later. Oh, and he ate the blog author’s pie (confused? Explanation later.)

I think he’ll prefer my definition.

Anyway…Yes. I hung out with John Shuster. And yes. I’ll be honest. I had no idea who he was until his future wife told me.

You see…it all started with Sara Marshall. No, not the one played by Kristen Bell in the movie featuring Jason Segel. Rather, Sara Marshall of Minnesota, fiancé to the aforementioned Shuster, who, for some reason, wanted to talk to us.  Marshall was very… animated. We bonded over our love for a specific type of fish being served at the USA House. In fact, us Mobile Explorers encouraged her to take some with her for the road (and for her future father-in-law at the hotel… gotta win daughter-in-law points somehow, right?) Later, she tells us her soon-to-be husband is the Skip on the US Men’s Curling Team.

Um. Did someone say Curling?!? Before I go any further, you have to understand why this excited me.

Fun fact: me and a few other Mobile Explorers thought it’d be hilarious if, when people asked who we were and why we were all wearing matching yellow jackets, we told them we were part of the US Curling Development Team…and that we were sponsored by Samsung (it sounded so much cooler than just saying we were video bloggers covering Vancouver and the Olympics… because well, even though that’s cool and all, people only wanted to take our picture when they thought we were athletes.)

So naturally, the idea of chatting with a real-life Curler intrigued us… and so Sara Marshall introduced us to the now-infamous John Shuster.

When Shuster first met us, he didn’t really understand the “mobile explorer” concept, but once he figured it out, he was all about it (he even shaped his hands like an “M” and and “E” to represent Mobile Explorers. Yes, we have pics to prove it.) He said that we couldnt have just been Samsung Mobile Explorers…that we were like Samsung models or something (uhh…just call me a TL-225?… Bad joke? Eeeek. OK. I’ll stick to being a Mobile Explorer.)

Reppin' "M-E" with the US Curling Team
Reppin “M-E” with the US Curling Team

One of the first things Shuster tells me? That he has an Urban Dictionary entry. Mostly because he may have missed a few key plays. Um. OK, even if it IS somewhat negative, ya gotta admit, having an urban dictionary entry is kinda cool, right? It’s like you’re officially part of pop culture.

The highlight of the night? HE ATE MY PIE! OK now before you sickos start interpreting that as some weird sexual innuendo, let me explain. The USA House has food everywhere. All the time. Yes, even dessert. Having the sweet tooth that I have, I kinda wanted to try this caramel apple pie concoction.

At the same time though, I feared I’d hate it, so Shuster came up with a deal. “Get it, try it, and if you don’t like it, I’ll eat it,” or something like that. Well. I didn’t like it. So, he ate it. Using my fork. YES, SHUSTER HAS SHARED MY GERMS! Why this excites me, I don’t know (call me a creeper?) but I mean, how many other people can say that an Olympian has eaten their pie?

Yes, that’s my fork.

Aside from pie, Shuster and I talk serious business. Namely, the state of curling (and no, I don’t mean my hair.) He thinks that Curling needs to be shown on TV, so that more American’s get into it. I tell him I want to get into it, and that Amy and I even attempted to learn while we were in Canada (video coming soon.)

Shuster encourages us to go to Hollywood Curling Club (he visited the club during a recent trip to LA, when he was on the Jay Leno Show. Fun fact that I think he told me but I may be making up: he’s actually a Conan fan. Another fun fact? The club is not even really in Hollywood.)  Shuster also promises he’ll put in a good word with the folks over at the club (I don’t think he actually did, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless. He has my Samsung business card. I’m still waiting for the day I get my Shuster email.)

Apparently back in Shuster’s home state of Minnesota (Yes you can hear that Northerner accent when both Shoostie and his future-Mrs. talk,) curling is actually part of the high school life. Forgive me for being an ignorant, surfboard-toting Californian (okay, okay…for those of you who know me, I’ll be real. I’ve never “toted” a surfboard,) but I find this funny.

Other interesting tidbits? Shuster claims he is the 2nd-most famous person from his 5000-person hometown of Chisholm (who the first is, I can’t quite remember.)  He likes comedy. Namely, Nick Thune and Ian Bagg. I can’t remember if he said that Thune curled…oh well, maybe he should?

Also…He and his fiancé met at a curling club. Just based on observation, you can tell there’s some genuine love there. She definitely takes care of him. Someone said he needs to “hold on to her.” Naturally, I took this as an opportunity to make a punny joke. “Ha, hold on to her like a broom!” Eeeek. I’m still not sure whether or not they found it funny.

PS. I also got to chat with the other US Curlers, albeit briefly (Jeff Isaacson and Jason Smith– you see them in the group photo.) It was then that I found out that a curling development team, in fact, DOES NOT exist.

At one point, NBC Sports reporter Andrea Kuslits (after googling her I discover she’s better known as Andrea Joyce) stopped by the table for a few minutes to introduce herself, chat about the Olympics, and play her journalistic/public relations/be-on-his-good-side cards right. I’m guessing that at that point, he was “over” media coverage and just wanted to hang out with normal people (aka Mobile Explorers. And no, I did not tell him that I, too, used to be one of those tv reporters.)

Anyway…as the night winded down, it seemed Shuster wanted to party more. He even suggested we take him out on the town of Vancouver. Sadly, we had to wake up the next morning for a challenge, and could not take him up on the offer. Shuster…Next time you’re in LA, call me. You have my card.


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(0) Comments

  1. James says:

    As a curling fan, and distant relative of john, I ran into your blog entry. However, your overuse of parentheses gave me a headache. I remember my lit professor saying that too many parenthetical asides meant personal insecurity in writing. Either way, thanks for at least talking bringing a light (albeit a flashlight) to curling.

    1. samiakhan says:

      Hi James! I’m sorry about the headache. If I could provide e-Advil or another form of digital medicine (similar to a Facebook “gift”) I would offer it gladly. As for the parentheses, it’s just my writing style. I use them as personal side commentary, so that people understand what’s going on in my head as I type things. And I agree, your lit professor is probably right about parenthetical clauses…when it comes to literature. Last time I checked, “Khanversations” wasn’t following a Shakespearean or Dickens-like model.

  2. samiakhan,

    The Hollywood Curling Club is inviting you for a Curling lesson……


    1. Samia Khan says:

      Nick! Curling sounds fantastic (although I’m not the most athletic.) Please send me more details (when? I’m guessing the “where” is at the Club?)

      1. If grandmothers can do it, then you should be fit enough to join us.
        Our next two learn to curl sessions are at
        Ice Station Valencia, located at:
        27745 North Smyth Dr.
        Valencia CA, 91355

        March 27th, 7pm
        April 10th, 7pm

        Our Home is at:
        Valley Ice Center
        84750 Van Nuys Blvd.
        Panorama City, CA 91402
        Our league season has started and we have the reminder of our learn to curl at Valencia!

        And, if there was an Ice rink in Hollywood, we would have been there….


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