Ulsrud returns to Beijing as special invites for Grand Final are revealed
United States and Russia have also been specially invited to Beijing.
Legendary Norwegian rink, Team Thomas Ulsrud, will make an emotional return to the city where they captured their only world title five years ago after accepting a special invite to the Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing.
Skip Ulsrud, 47, has led his team to five world championship medals, 11 European podium finishes and an Olympic silver medal in 2014.
Vice-skip Torger Nergaard - who won Olympic gold 17 years ago in Salt Lake City – has been by Ulsrud’s side since the juniors, when they competed at the World Junior Curling Championships in 1992.
The current quartet have been playing together for 12 years, with Christoffer Svae, the team’s second and lead Haavard Vad Petersson completing the line-up having represented Norway at 24 major championships since 2007.
This will not be the Norwegians’ first experience of the Curling World Cup stage after they competed at leg two in Omaha, while Ulsrud teamed up with Kristin Skaslien in the mixed doubles in Jonkoping.
The Oslo-based rink are also known for their colourful choice of trouser, introducing harlequin patterned garments at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, catching the eye of the world and the affection of the curling public.
USA Curling (women’s) and the Russia Curling Federation (mixed doubles) have also been announced as special invites to the grand finale in China’s capital having been the highest ranked Member Associations who had not already qualified.
Three different rinks have competed for United States during the Curling World Cup this season - Team Nina Roth, Team Jamie Sinclair and Team Cory Christensen.
In the mixed doubles, Russia will choose between Maria Komarova and Danill Goriachev or Anastasia Moskaleva and Alexander Eremin.
These remaining two teams will be announced in the coming days.