Calendar hot stuff

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Christmas is almost here and we have some last-minute suggestions for the curler in your family.

Now that we have finally gotten our hot little hands on Fire on Ice, the latest curling calendar, we can assure you that it will be worth the wait -- even if it doesn't get here in time to slide under the tree.

The calendar features female curlers from all over the world, including Canada, in various stages of undress -- not that we would notice that. More than 1,000 were sold by early December and some of the semi-clad women involved are sharing the proceeds of their royalties with various charities around the world.

"I decided I was going to do it for women's curling specifically," Chrissy Cadorin, third for Ontario's Jen Henna, told Sun Media recently. "It's not something I've ever done before. I wasn't naked. I wasn't uncomfortable by any means."

Cadorin is donating her proceeds to the Shoot For A Cure Curling, the Canadian Spinal Research Organization's campaign to fund spinal cord injury while supporting wheelchair curling. Christine Keshen -- lead for Alberta's Olympic bronze-medallist Shannon Kleibrink -- who also posed for the calendar, is raising cash for Right To Play, a world-wide children's charity.

You can order the calendar through www.thecurlingnews.com. Cost is $29.95, plus GST and $8.95 for shipping and handling.

And that's not all. A number of new curling books have also come out. The most intriguing, perhaps, is penned by Doug Maxwell, Canada's equivalent to Manitoba's Bob Picken. Like Picken, Maxwell has been a curling broadcaster, administrator, official, organizer and inventor (timeclocks, Skins games). And he was on the ground floor as curling history evolved. It's all there in Tales of A Curling Hack (Whitecap Books, $24.95) and it even includes a a couple of chapters written by the venerable Picken.

Other curling tomes on the shelf include: Rock Stars: Team Gushue's Road to Glory (Creative Publishing), Golden Gushue (Nimbus Publishing), Curl in the Zone (Sport Science Press) and For the Love of Curling (Weigl Publishers).

Just to name a few.

Q-CONFUSION: So, Manitoba's Karen Porritt qualified for the Canada Cup by finishing top four in the Canada Cup qualifier. Should she win the Canada Cup, she will qualify for the Canadian Curling Trials qualifying spiel in November 2009, where four men's and four women's teams will qualify for the trials. Got that?

To simplify the process, four men's and four women's teams can qualify for that qualifying spiel -- or curling's November Madness -- this year. To make it, a squad would have to win a national championship, the Canada Cup, the Players' Championship or the CTRS point standings.

To become one of the First Four -- or the Ferbey/Jones Four -- where a foursome can advance straight into the 2009 Olympic trials, a squad must win at least three of the above over the next three years. This rule was introduced because both Alberta's Randy Ferbey and Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones qualified for the 2005 trials in multiple ways but were never rewarded for it.


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