Colbert a bit out of touch

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

It may take him a long time to live it down.

USA's John Shuster told Stephen Colbert he could not touch his toes in a hilarious segment about curling that appeared on a recent Colbert Report (Comedy Network).

"I think I've touched them twice since the Colbert Report," Shuster said with a chuckle after nipping Ontario's Dale Matchett 6-4 in a Grand Slam game at the MTS Centre Thursday. "We were talking about the importance of curling. We were talking about flexibility and balance and I was like, 'Yeah, it's important but it's athleticism. I mean, I can't even touch my toes.' He was like, 'Wait, you're an Olympian, you can't touch your toes?' And I said. 'It's not important.'"

While Shuster does not look like a typical Olympian, he did win a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics playing lead for Pete Fenson.

The Colbert segment was done in fun in an attempt to further expose the sport in the U.S. as Shuster heads to his second Olympics, this time as the skip.

"Any chance to have some fun with our game and introduce it to a whole new audience," he said. "People aren't necessarily sports fans watching Colbert. It's a huge demographic he has and a huge viewership in both the U.S. and Canada. So, it's exciting to be able to introduce our sport in a fun light."

But Shuster, 27, will be more serious here as his squad is using the Canadian Open to prepare for the Olympics in Vancouver next month.

"This is the last final test to see where we are," said Shuster, supported by third Jason Smith, second Jeff Isaacson and John Benton. "We're here and we are getting games against the best in the world, just like we'll be playing against at the Olympics. Any time you can come up here and play the teams you play at a Grand Slam event, it's a good thing for advancing yourself as far as team play."

Shuster heads into today's play at 1-1. Alberta's Olympic-bound Kevin Martin, Norway's Olympic-bound Thomas Ulsrud and Ontario's Glenn Howard lead the way with 3-0 records, with Saskatchewan's Pat Simmons at 2-0.

CANUCK INK: Three members of Cheryl Bernard's Olympic-bound team got tattooed. Literally. Bernard, Susan O'Connor and Cori Bartel had Olympic rings and a small Maple Leaf inked into the inside of their forearms. However, Manitoba-born second Carolyn Darbyshire held out because her daughter didn't want her to do it. "It hurt a lot," Bernard told The Canadian Press. "Someone asked me if I win a medal if I intend to add to it and the answer is no."

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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