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From back at work to Olympic podium - Norwegians return to collect medals

© AFP | Norway's Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten flew back to Pyeongchang to receive their medals.

PYEONGCHANG (SOUTH KOREA) (AFP) - 

The Norwegian couple who won Olympic curling bronze after their Russian rivals were disqualified for doping were flown back to Pyeongchang for free in first class so they could finally get their medals.

Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, partners on and off the ice, initially fell short of mixed-doubles bronze after losing to a husband-and-wife team from Russia.

But Alexander Krushelnitsky later tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, and he and wife Anastasia Bryzgalova were stripped of their medals.

By then, however, the 32-year-old Skaslien was back at her desk in Oslo, where she is an operations analyst at a major maritime company.

"I had been back at work for three days when I got an email with plane tickets, almost getting back into everyday routines," she said.

"I sent my boss a text message telling him, 'I've got first-class tickets to South Korea, I'll be back by Tuesday'."

So back to Pyeongchang she and Nedregotten went to finally collect their bronze in a medal ceremony on Saturday.

"You don't say 'no' to having new plane tickets for free to come back," said Skaslien.

"It is much better coming here than having it (the medal) sent by post months later, though I would have accepted it and picked it up in the mail box."

© 2018 AFP