Curlers are, um, sexy now?

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VANCOUVER — The thing about the inclusion of curling at the Olympics is that you never know what the story is going to be.

On Thursday, there were actually writers showing up at the curling venue to ask questions about the “sexifying of curling,” quote-unquote.

Sexifying of curling.

Never heard that one before.

O.K., to be honest, it was hard not to notice there were a lot of attractive blonde girls in the Denmark-Sweden game the other day.

“And I’d say the Russians,” said John Morris, the Canadian third who we must point out was voted one of Canada’s most eligible men by Entertainment Tonight the other day.

“And Jennifer Jones,” Morris quickly added of the Canadian women’s curling champion who was standing right in front of him in the mixed zone, covering the Olympics for Yahoo Sports.

But the subject of the day wasn’t sexy women curlers. It was the, uh, sexy men curlers.

Obviously I’ve been spending too much time looking at Randy Ferbey to have missed this story. But there were a lot of questions about their pecs, washboard stomachs, tight t-shirts and the like. They’re getting younger. They’re full-time athletes now. They’re ripped. And apparently, from the questioning yesterday, they’re sexy.

Curlers. Sexy.

The times have changed, agreed Swedish skip Niklas Edin after his 7-3 loss to Canada’s Kevin Martin in the morning.

“In Sweden, curling is known as an old man’s sport, but now women are starting to notice it’s not anymore. I got an e-mail from one. It was a strange one,” he said of what the woman had in mind. “I don’t think I should talk about it.

“It was my first (like that),” he admitted.

Canadian lead Ben Hebert said he hopes the sudden interest in curlers becoming sexy has nothing to do with those crazy, loud, jester pants Thomas Ulsrud and the Norwegians are wearing.

“But I can see it,” he said. “I think it’s the fitted shirts this year. Pretty much all the curlers are in pretty good shape now.”

Hebert figures maybe his teammate Morris had something to do with it.

“I was kind of surprised by that,” said Morris, of the honour bestowed on him by Entertainment Tonight. “I was approached about a month or so ago and was told I was being considered. I thought ‘It’s the

Olympics. What the heck.’ ”

Asking guys about being sexy isn’t something your average male curling writer can be completely comfortable with. At least not this one.

But asking the women curlers about it ...

“Gee, I don’t know,” said Canadian third Susan O’Connor. “When I’m watching curling, I’m watching curling.”

Canadian second Caroline Darbyshire said you get a lot of questions at the Olympics you don’t normally get at the average bonspiel.

“I’ve never heard that one before. But I guess that now that they’ve maybe got better bodies, they have to have the tight shirts to show them off.”

American skip Debbie McCormick also said such thought wasn’t on her radar.

“I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing. But not in my mind.”

Nineteen-year-old skip Eve Muirhead of Great Britain, says she can see it.

Sort of.

“The game has gone to more and more fitness and conditioning. They’ve got

muscles and look like other athletes now. And there are a few who are quite good looking.”

But sexy?

Veteran British third Jackie Lockhart thought about it for a moment.

“Nah,” she said.

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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