The Italian mixed doubles curling pair of Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner ran the table at the Ice Cube in Beijing to claim Italy’s first-ever Olympic curling medal. With an 8-5 victory over Norway, the Italian duo swept through the games, compiling a record of 11-0 on the way to capturing Gold.
After running through the Swedish side 8-1 in the semifinals, Constantini and Mosaner got out quickly in the gold medal game and never looked back. The Norwegian’s, bronze medalists in 2018, who had won a semifinal battle against Great Britain by a 6-5 total, put together a 2-ender in the 7th to creep to within striking distance at 7-5.
Unlike Italy’s final round-robin victory against Canada, which took an extra-end to decide, there would be no high drama in this one.
With Norway barely lying two in the 7th, Constantini threw a final stone, a blocker that left Norwegian Kristin Skaslien with an incredibly difficult curl for three, which came up way short. With Constantini holding the hammer in the eighth and final end, misses by both teams early meant the sheer lack of scoring opportunities began to catch up with the Norwegians
As Constantini, entered the hack, hammer in hand for the Gold medal shot, Norway did have the only two rocks in the house, but with no blockers to be seen, the longest shot chance at forcing extra ends. Perfectly delivered, the final stone not only cleared out both rocks from the Norwegians, but it also ricocheted toward the button, giving the stoic Italian pair a single.
With the 8-5 victory earning Constantini, a 22-year old Olympic rookie, and Mosaner, age 26, their place at the top of the podium. Mosaner had competed for the Italian men’s four-person crew at the 2018 games.
The three-point victory replicated the gap between the Italian pair and Skaslien and fellow Norwegian Magnus Nedregotten in their round-robin match, an 11-8 victory for Italy. Along with Norway’s Silver Medal performance, Sweden took the Bronze with a 9-3 victory over Great Britain, reversing the results of their game in round-robin play.
The Italian squad won praise throughout the tournament, not only for their undefeated curling but also for their matter-of-fact methodology and low-key communications. An approach made easier by consistently positive outcomes on the ice.
Although four years is a long time, at the moment, Italy is in a strong position to repeat at the next Olympics. Not only will they enjoy a home-ice advantage as host country for the 2026 games, but they will be played in Constantini’s hometown of Cortina D’ampezzo, and Milan.