Norwegian curler Nedregotten credits three Universiades for much of his Olympic mixed doubles success
Having first tossed stones at three consecutive Winter Universiades between 2013-2017, Norwegian curler Magnus Nedregotten laid the foundation for what has been an impressive career in his sport.
Nedregotten, 31, alongside partner and wife Kristin Skaslien, won a silver medal in the mixed doubles curling event at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The couple came up just a bit short against their Italian opponents Amos Mosener and Stefania Constantini, defeated 8-5 in the final. Still, it was a cherished moment for Norwegian winter sports.
“We ended up with the silver and to do that with your spouse is something very special – it feels amazing to have almost achieved your big dream,” Nedregotten tells Brian Pinelli in the latest edition of the FISU University Legends Series. “It has been some good days here (in Norway) since we came home from Beijing.”
For Nedregotten and Skaslien, it was their second consecutive Olympic medal in mixed doubles, as they also took home a bronze in the dual gender event that debuted at PyeongChang 2018.
A former student-athlete attending the Norwegian University of Sport Science, Nedgregotten says that the importance of curling at Winter Universiades is paramount, with a high skill level witnessed, even holding greater value than other elite level junior tournaments.
The Universiade Games are huge in curling – it’s like a U-25 World Championship and it’s bigger than Junior World Championships, close to a World Championships because it only happen every two years,” Nedregotten informs.
Nedregotten said that the three Winter Universiades he participated in, while representing his native Norway, were invaluable learning experiences and critical to his future athletic success.
photo: IOC“Competition-wise, it‘s like a simulation of the Olympics,” Nedregotten says. “Looking back, that experience you gain going to three Universiades, obviously, made it easier to come to the Olympics and perform.
“At the village you meet so many people from different nations, which is amazing as a sportsman. It really is a seed to create friendships and mutual understandings across nations.
“It was a good lesson for me, both as a curling player to achieve my goals, but also as a person to experience those different cultures in that setting.
“To go to all these Universiade Games has been Alpha Omega for my development,” the Norwegian reveals.
Nedregotten, a former alpine skier, tossed stones towards ‘the house,’ as curling’s circular scoring zone is referred, at his first Winter Universiade in Trentino 2013, competing with the Norwegian men’s team. He built upon that initial experience winning a gold medal with teammates in a dramatic, come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the Russians at the Granada 2015 Universiade.
“The final there was amazing – it was truly the highlight of my career so far because it was my first international victory as a player,” Nedregotten recalls of Granada 2015. “I just remember that whole scenario as something of pure joy, just standing there with my teammates.
“It was amazing, so unexpected to win that game against the Russian Olympic Team – it was unbelievable,” the Norwegian curler added.
Not finished just yet, Nedregotten also won a bronze medal with teammates at the Almaty 2017 Universiade.
Nedregotten, and potentially his reliable partner and wife Kristin, have sights set on returning to the ice and competing at a third Winter Olympics in Milano-Cortina 2026.
“If it was only up to me, I’d say definitely, but there is one other person involved in that discussion,” Nedregotten informs. “There will be a decision made in the spring.
“I’m definitely set on going back to the Olympics in 2026, with the boys or Kristin, maybe both.”
Interview and article by Brian Pinelli – @Brian_Pinelli