Italy is known for its scenery, cuisine, fashion, and soccer.
Stefania Constantini is doing her best to change all that one rock at a time at the world women’s curling championship in Prince George.
The 22-year-old Italian skip has been developing at a rapid rate within the sport.
She, along with Amos Mosaner pulled off one of the feel-good stories at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The duo not only ran the table going 11-0 in mixed doubles but also claimed the country’s first-ever gold medal in curling – an 8-5 victory over the Norwegian husband-and-wife pairing of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten.
Constantini told MyPGNow.com the accomplishment is that much more special given the country only has 330 players taking up the sport.
“Curling is not very well known so winning the gold medal was very important in improving our movement because lots of people are interested in this new sport. I hope this will be good for our curling.”
“The first reaction to winning the gold medal was amazing of course. Not only was it my dream but it was our dream (as a country) and to realize it was crazy because we played so well during that week.”
In the sporting world, Italy is predominantly a soccer country claiming four FIFA World Cups and two UEFA European Championships.
Constantini grew up in a municipality called Pieve di Cadore, which is located in the region of Veneto, 110 kilometres north of Venice.
As a kid, she took up skiing and swimming but discovered curling through a mutual connection.
“I was asked to try the sport and I went and fell in love with it. From that moment this became my career. I have lots of idols around the world like Eve Muirhead, Team Hasselborg, Nicklas Edin, and of course Canada. They are all amazing to watch so we always tune into tournaments like the Brier and the Scotties.”
Italy first competed in Olympic curling in 2006 as the host nation in Turin but only qualified for the first time four years ago, with the men’s team taking part in Pyeongchang (2018).
In addition, the country has three dedicated training centres, all located in the far north.
Constantini and her rink, which also includes Marta Lo Doserto (third), Angela Romei (second), lead Veronica Zappone, and Giulia Zardini Lacedelli as the alternate play out of Cortini D’Ampezzo – which is hosting the 2026 Olympic Winter Games alongside Milan.
Regardless of the end result in Prince George, (Italy lost its first three games) Constantini stated it will not lessen the shine of the progress Italy has made in curling.
“The gold medal and hosting the next Olympic games will do wonders for curling in Italy. I hope a new building for curling will be built so that we can arrive prepared for the next games.”