Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, a world champion and Olympic curler, has passed away from cancer according to his team’s Facebook page.
“Thomas has been fighting cancer since December 2020,” the statement read, “but the last week it took a turn for the worse and in the end he was gone very quickly. We the team are devastated for our loss. Being around Ulsrud was always a joy and we will miss our skipper deeply!”
Ulsrud, 50, was a popular and successful player, winning events around the world, playing in 12 world championships, 17 European championships and three Olympics.
In 2010, he advanced to the final of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, earning a silver medal after losing to Canada’s Kevin Martin. At that event, his team of Torger Nergard, Christoffer Svae and Havard Vad Petersson made a name for itself by wearing bright, colourful pants from Loudmouth Golf.
PGA Tour pro John Daly, who first made the line famous, praised the curlers for their style. The trousers became the Ulsrud team’s calling card and for the rest of its career, it wore a variety of different patterns – all loud and memorable.
After his Olympic run, Ulsrud led his team to the world championship title in 2014 in Beijing, China, and a year later lost in the final. He holds the record for the most wins by a skip at the world championship.
The curling world was shocked by his passing, praising Ulsrud as a great curler and wonderful individual.
"We lost a larger than life personality," Team Gushue tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Ulsrud family during this difficult time. Thomas, you will be missed."
"This one hits deep," tweeted Ben Hebert. "The best kind of person was Thomas Ulsrud. He will be missed by everyone. Sad day and gone way too soon."
"We are so incredibly saddened to hear of Thomas Ulsrud's passing," Curling Canada tweeted. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and teammates as we all mourn the loss of one of curling's greatest and most well-loved competitors."
Ulsrud is survived by his wife and a son.