DES MOINES, Iowa -- After 17 days of captivating competition the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, are over. The United States came in fourth place with 23 medals total, but these winter games were not just about winning.
The Olympic games brought the world together and athletes continue to inspire generations for years to come.
Several metro sports fans said curling had them glued to the television.
"I think curling is going to explode in the United States especially in the northern areas. Really fun sport. I think anyone can play it. It’s going to be a big hit in the northern states, in Iowa and Minnesota," Jake Pearson said.
Curling was somewhat of a hidden treasure in the United States, now uncovered after the men’s curling team won a gold medal.
“We want our sport to be loved by our country as much as we love it. There's a reason why we play and there’s a reason why we love it as much as we do. I think that people are learning that now as they watch us and they watch us enjoy ourselves out here. I just really hope that we can keep the ball rolling and be ambassadors for the game as long as we can. And you know these shiny things around our neck will help us do that too,” Member of the U.S. Men's Curling Team Tyler George said.
Local resident Kathleen McCadam grew up in Canada and said the sport is a part of every day life just across the northern border.
"Curling is on every corner in Canada so it’s a big deal. Everybody learns to curl in school through gym class so it’s fun," Kathleen McCadam said.
Sports are an important part of all cultures and in the end it’s not just about winning, even during the Olympic games.
"I think the thing about the Olympics is, countries with different politics and ethnicities and everybody comes together and so it is cool. And I do kind of pay attention to the medal count. I don’t get that wrapped up in that, just seeing everybody’s story, I know I’m missing there’s some great stories, but that’s the best part of it," Scott McCadam said.
Olympic Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn said medals aren't everything.
"And you know the medals aren’t, they’re not necessarily what the Olympics are all about. The Olympics are a unifying event, one that has a profound impact on the entire world and to quantify it in how many medals you have is not appropriate and doesn’t respect the athletes and what they’ve put in to be in these games," Vonn said.