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Crazy Curling Pants of Norway Draw Notice

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As of February 17, 2010, 8:00AM

Germany – Gold: 3; Silver: 4; Bronze: 2

United States – Gold: 2; Silver: 2; Bronze: 4

France – Gold: 2; Silver: 1; Bronze: 4

Canada – Gold: 2; Silver: 2; Bronze: 1

Talk of Vancouver: Crazy curling pants of Norway draw notice

Even as his U.S. men’s curling teammates were locked in close competition with Germany, alternate Chris Plys couldn’t help but notice the game beside them Tuesday.

“Norway has the crazy pants,” he tweeted. “Kickin it retro I guess.”

Who knew curlers were such fashionistas? The Norwegians, who were playing Canada and then met the USA later Tuesday, have raised eyebrows in the Vancouver Olympic Centre since practicing in the red-white-and-blue, diamond-pattered pants. The loud trousers are part of the team uniform, picked out by second Chris Svae from the same company — Sonoma, Calif.-based Loudmouth Golf — that outfits golfer John Daly.

Price tag: $90 U.S., $99 Canadian.

“It’s good,” Svae said Tuesday, because “it’s bringing attention to curling back home in Norway more than usual.”

Pointing to his team’s close, 7-6 loss to the favored Canadians, he said, “We played just as well, so we’re not just the clowns.”

The U.S. men, like all the others on the ice, wore black slacks. Lead John Benton expressed fondness for the Norwegians — “They’re pretty loose guys” — but insisted he would “never, ever, ever, ever” follow their sartorial lead.

“Whatever makes ’em happy, I guess,” said U.S. third Jason Smith. “They’re super nice guys, super outgoing, so it fits their personality well.”

Potter’s plans: At 31, Jenny Potter is the oldest player on the U.S. women’s hockey team. Her daughter Madison is 9.

Wouldn’t it be nice, Potter daydreams, if someday they could play together? Say in the 2018 Winter Games?

“It’s probably unreasonable to think it could happen, but I think it would be pretty cool,” she says. She wrote the goal into an Olympic questionnaire.

“If anyone could play in two more, it would be Pottsy,” said teammate Angela Ruggiero. “She has the work ethic and determination. With all she has to juggle, Potter is a role model to all.”

Potter, a forward, had hat tricks in the USA’s first two games and is still one of the world’s best players. “She keeps herself in great shape hockeywise, then goes home and she has a another life as a mother,” says U.S. coach Mark Johnson.

Madison spends more time as a competitive swimmer than a hockey player, but Potter still imagines them on the ice together. She also has a son, Cullen, 3.

“I’ve got to go home after this and re-evaluate where my family is at,” Potter says. “My husband (Rob) has put his career on hold, sitting in the back seat to support me. It’s not like we have a lifestyle of the rich and famous.”

Says Ruggiero, “If she commits to it, she will be dominant at 35.”

Bilodeau mania: “Bring on the gold,” blares the slogan next to a picture of Canadian freestyle skier Alex Bilodeau, featured in his home country on boxes of Oatmeal Crisp Almond cereal.

Bilodeau, 22, delivered Canada’s long-awaited first gold on home soil. That should deliver him more than $1 million in endorsements. The Globe and Mail devoted a page Tuesday to a “day in the life of a hero.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called him the night he won. Canada Post, the country’s postal service, has a commemorative stamp available today, and the Royal Canadian Mint plans a medallion.