A news release went out at 8:00am ET today. No big deal, just a typical day of curling news announcing Nude Athlete Calendar Shocks Curling World!
Here it is:
First it was the Waltzing Matildas, the Australian national women’s soccer team. Then the concept hit Canadian shores with the national women’s teams of cross-country skiing and rugby.
Now, an international group of strong-willed and taut-figured female curlers has dropped their drawers to pose nude – or nearly-nude – in a new fundraising calendar.
As revealed in the November issue of The Curling News, the Ana Arce Team Sponsorship Calendar 2006 is shot in black and white, printed on high-quality art paper and features 12 models representing curling teams from around the world. Participating nations include Denmark, Italy, Spain, England, Poland, Germany and Canada.
“This is a tasteful, artistic product that will help the athletes raise much needed funds for training and competition,” said Ana Arce, who photographed the calendar and also skipped the burgeoning Andorran women’s team for three seasons until returning to her homeland of Spain this year. Arce is also one of the models.
“This proves that curlers are athletes,” Arce said. “Strong but graceful, and of course very beautiful.”
Austrian skip Claudia Toth – whose image graces the cover (image) – turned out to be a big catch for the calendar: she had previously said no to the German edition of Playboy.
“I loved the whole idea behind it,” said Toth. “It seems like one of the very few possibilities to make curling more popular in Europe – especially Austria.”
“I think that’s outstanding,” said two-time world champion skip Glenn Howard, on the phone from an Ultima World Curling Tour event in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.
“I’m shocked, yeah, but I also think something like this is overdue. That’s the best thing that could happen to curling. It pushes the envelope.”
2002 Olympic Gold Medallist Pal Trulsen of Norway agreed, after twice clarifying the subject matter.
“It’s about time,” Trulsen said. “It’s a fun thing, but we want curling to be just like other sports. Now we have the calendar, we have the doping thing... all I know is, I’m buying it.”
One of the Canadian models is Lynsay Ryan, daughter of 2006 Olympic hopeful and two-time world champion skip Pat Ryan.
The 21-year-old Ryan studies Behavioural Neuroscience at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, but found herself posing in a see-through sarong in the forests of Füssen, Germany, in July.
How did she tell her father about the project?
“I sent him an e-mail,” laughed Ryan. “I thought it might be better if he read about it and had time to think about it before he replied.”
The Ana Arce Team Sponsorship Calendar 2006 sells for 25 euros (Europe) and 25 Canadian dollars (North America), and is available at The Curling News website.
The Curling News is the global authority on the sport of curling. Founded in Canada in 1957, it is published by professional journalist and Olympic silver medallist George Karrys (Nagano 1998). The Curling News also publishes the world’s most popular all-curling Blog; raises much-needed funds for curling clubs via a hotel rebate web booking engine; and also supports Shoot For A Cure Curling, a fundraising and awareness program of the Canadian and American Spinal Research Organizations. Shoot For A Cure also supports wheelchair curling, an official sport at the Paralympic Winter Games in Torino 2006.
The November issue of The Curling News is available now via subscription.