Naked ambition!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Until his daughter came along, Pat Ryan was considered the greatest peeler in the history of curling.

But that was when peeling was a curling term for removing rocks, not removing clothes to pose nude for a world women's curling calendar.

Pat Ryan is weeks away from his last chance to represent Canada at the Olympics. Lynsay Ryan, 21, already represents Canada. On the calendar.

"I'm going to have to get a copy and put it up on the wall of the locker-room in Halifax," says Randy Ferbey of gearing his old Edmonton teammate Ryan at next month's Olympic Trials.

Ryan's daughter got naked between the sheets to help promote women's curling. Well, not literally. Naked, yes. But she wasn't photographed between Sheet A and Sheet B of a curling rink. She was actually shot in a forest near Fussen, Germany, where she was at a curling clinic.

Ryan's daughter, while she did come close to winning a provincial berth in junior curling, is not exactly a high-profile women's curler. But neither are any of the others.

Melanie Robillard is the only other Canadian on the calendar, which is Ana Arce's Andorran team sponsorship project. Arce is skip, photographer and one of the models. Other models are curlers from Denmark, Italy, Spain, England, Poland and Germany.

Personally, I think it's shocking!

Who knew there were women's curlers in Andorra, Spain and Poland?

COVER GIRL

One of the curling calendar girls is Claudia Toth of Austria, who said yes to the calendar after she said no to the German edition of Playboy. She's the calendar cover girl.

"I wasn't asked. Should I be insulted?" said Canada's Colleen Jones yesterday.

Jones, you may remember, said: "the women are going to have to curl naked to get people out" when they separated men's and women's Worlds into separate events.

"I didn't mean for anybody to take it personally," Colleen laughed.

"Part of me wants to be outraged," added Colleen. "But if this gets them the money to compete and generates some interest, I guess I'm for it."

Edmonton's Cathy King isn't volunteering for any calendars. "No! I'm 46 years old for Pete's sake. I don't think they want to see my body in any calendar," was her response.

King said the subject came up earlier.

"Somebody came up to our team just last week and said we should do one of those. I started laughing and said 'Not a chance!' "

But King's OK with it. "As long as it's done in good taste I don't think it hurts the sport."

'ABOUT TIME!'

Olympic gold-medal winner Pal Trulsen of Norway was one of the first to check in with comment.

"It's about time! It's a fun thing. We want curling to be like all other sports. We have the doping thing. Now we have the calendar. All I know is that I'm buying it."

Naked athletes on calendars to raise money is a relatively recent phenomenon. But curlers? See the glory of what can happen when you become an Olympic sport?

Ferbey is all in favour of it.

"Women in this sport are wonderful," said the skip who recently won $52,000 in a skins game (an entirely different deal) against Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg. ("I'm too shy," was Jennifer's reaction to doing a calendar.)

Ferbey, who won two Briers with Ryan's peelers, used to hold Lynsay on his knee.

"I did not see her naked," he swears.

But Ferbey is fine with naked women curlers on calendars.

"I have absolutely no problem with that as long as it's not my daughter," said Ferbey.

"I think it's great. It just brings more, er, exposure to the sport. I just wish there were more Canadians, more higher-profile Canadian women curlers, on the calendar."

Just which of the Canadian women would he, ahem, like to see? "No comment. My wife will read it and say 'What!' "

Ferbey says, "they'll probably want a men's one next." The old skip says he's not so sure.

"I don't know. It took me 25 years to take off my moustache."


Photos