Norway's Olympic curlers to sport funky outfits again

  • Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 12:01 a.m.
Members of the Norway's Men's Olympic Curling Team (from left) Thomas Ulsrud, Torgor Nergard, Christoffer Svae and Havard Vad Petersson wear their new Sochi 2014 suits in New York.

So what will be the must-see moments at the Sochi Olympics? How about snowboard star Shaun White performing his latest trick: the frontside double-cork 1440. Or Evgeny Plushenko's quad jump, the signature move of the Russian figure skating superstar. And be sure not to miss Mikaela Shiffrin, the American skiing sensation, slicing her way through the women's slalom.

When it comes to curling, there's no doubt what the show-stopper will be.

Yes, Norway's men's team is back with their crazy, funky pants. And they'll be more outrageous than ever when the players emerge for their first game at the Ice Cube.

"Put it like this, you'll not see me wearing them," Norway coach Pal Trulsen said. "Except maybe at a bad-taste party or something."

The Norwegians - Thomas Ulsrud, Torgor Nergard, Christoffer Svae and Havard Vad Petersson - caused a stir at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 when they took to the ice for the opening game against Canada sporting bold, diamond-printed golf pants in their nation's colors. With curlers having always worn basic black uniforms, tradition was thrown out of the window.

Spectators couldn't believe what they were seeing. The pants became one of the talking points of the games, quickly going viral. Even the Norwegian monarch, King Harald V, received a pair.

A Facebook page dedicated to 'The Norwegian Olympic Curling Team's Pants' peaked at 695,000 followers during the games, according to its founder Anthony D'Orazio, that figure is currently back down to close to 540,000 but is sure to grow before and during Sochi. Two of the biggest clusters of followers are in China and Brazil.

Norway's emboldened curlers, trend-setters in their own right, are taking some new patterns over to Russia.

Four have already been revealed: one has a zig-zagging chevron print, and another is black and flowery and called "rosemaling." And several more will be unveiled throughout the Olympics. It's all very top-secret at the moment, but prepare to be amazed.

"Because we know them, we probably won't be shocked," said British curler Anna Sloan, who has become good friends with the Norwegian team. "But trust me, it will be good."

Initially stunned, World Curling President Kate Caithness has embraced the pants, which have added a whole new dimension to curling.

"I am a traditionalist, I must be honest," Caithness said in a telephone interview with the AP. "But after I saw them in Vancouver, I actually liked them. They brought focus to our sport, these crazy pants.

"It would be awful if all the teams were wearing them; it would look like a circus. But I think it's a trademark of the Norwegian team only and we like it that way."

Svae hopes so, too. After all, it was he who came up with the idea in the first place.

The long-time Norway international curler was unhappy at the black-and-gray colored uniform his team had been given for Vancouver, and asked its equipment sponsor a month before the Olympics to make them some colored pants. There wasn't enough time, so he went online to find some goofy golf pants.

He happened upon Loudmouth, an American sportswear company known for its flamboyant attire.

"It's definitely been life-changing for us," Svae said. "Not so much in the everyday but when we travel around the world for curling, it doesn't always matter if we do well or not, people still think that we win stuff because we are always in the media."

Comments { }

Postandcourier.com is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Postandcourier.com does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not postandcourier.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.