Fifth Olympics for Norwegian curler, Torger Nergaard

  • © WCF / Richard Gray

When Norway's Torger Nergaard was collecting gold at the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, team-mate Markus Hoeiberg was 10 years old.

Now Nergaard, 43, has created history at PyeongChang 2018 by becoming the first curler, male or female, to compete at five Olympic Winter Games.

"Making five Olympics? I can't even imagine it," Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said. "I've made three myself, which I think is pretty good, but two more, another eight years of training? It's crazy. But he's a class act. He's been there, seen everything, so he has some good insight into tactics. All the young boys, if they're nervous, they look to him"

Pal Trulsen, Norway coach and Nergaard's team-mate in 2002, said: "He's been one of the world's top curlers for more than two decades. It takes a huge amount of motivation, love of curling, and structure to achieve that. Curling is his life. Every evening, without fail, he returns home from work and goes to practise at 8pm. It has helped a lot that his wife (Marianne Rorvik) is a curler too, who played for Norway in the 2006 Olympics."

Last summer Nergaard, who works as an engineer, took his first holiday since 2010. "I have two kids so I had to finally start doing it," he said. "You can't have it all, so you have to sacrifice something. I had to work through the summer so my employers would let me curl in the winter."

An understanding partner has certainly been crucial to Nergaard's longevity in the sport. "I'm a really nice guy, which is probably why she lets me get away with it. I also try to remind her as often as I can that she's very lucky to have me. It's actually the other way round, but I try to lie a little bit."

He was an alternate for Norway in 2002, so his favourite Olympic Winter Games memory is reaching the final at Vancouver 2010. "Winning the semi-finals and knowing that you get to play a match against the Canadians in Canada was a big thing," Nergaard said. "That Olympics was very special, in a curling nation with 5000 fans in the stands who all know curling inside out."

Nergaard almost did not claim the appearance record, having considered quitting after Norway finished fifth at Sochi 2014. "I thought hard about it but after we won the worlds I decided it was still a lot of fun."

article provided by the Olympic Information Service