Saturday, November 11, 2006

Curling girls doff duds to keep rocks on ice

Calendar/fundraiser: 'It's very tame. It doesn't reveal too much'

Allen Cameron, CanWest News Service
Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CALGARY - Christine Keshen knew she would get some exposure as a result of winning an Olympic curling bronze medal last February.

But the 28-year-old lead for Shannon Kleibrink's Calgary team has taken that exposure to another level by posing for the second edition of the Fire on Ice curling calendar.

She joins 16 other curler/models wearing practically nothing on the pages of the calendar, which sold out around the world a year ago.

"I've done lots of photo shoots with the team, and it's no different. Except there's a few less pieces of clothing," Keshen said, with a laugh. "It's very tame. It doesn't reveal too much and it leaves a lot to the imagination. I'm quite happy with the pose."

The 2007 edition goes on sale today in Canada for $29.95, plus $8 shipping and handling.

Copies are available at

Keshen is one of three Canadians to make the final cut. Ontario curlers Chrissy Cadorin and Leigh Armstrong also are featured, along with former world champions Debbie McCormick of the U.S. and Jackie Lockhart of Scotland and former world junior champ Linn Githmark of Norway.

The calendar was the brainchild of professional photographer Ana Arce, who is based in Andorra. Arce is also an avid curler -- her team just won the Spanish championship and will curl at the European championships next month -- and she was looking for a way to raise funds for her team.

"It started as a little thing; I was thinking, 'I'm a curler, I'm a photographer. Can we make some money?' " said Arce. "I thought we would sell 500 or something like that, and we never thought about selling in Canada. It was a total surprise -- I couldn't believe what happened."

What happened was that all 4,000 copies were sold, with stories of the calendar appearing around the world, including in the pages of Sports Illustrated.

Arce, whose self-portrait graces the cover, had no problem finding high-profile curlers to doff their duds for the second calendar.

"Some of the girls chose to show a little bit more than others, but it's in good taste," she said. "There's a fine line between being erotic and interesting but at the same time being in good taste. I think the girls were all happy with the pictures, and that's the most important thing to me."

Keshen admitted her boyfriend was reluctant to share "his girl with the rest of the world," but her parents were supportive. "My mom was funny. She says to me, 'You know, Chris, if you were my age and you looked back and you didn't do it, you'd regret it. If I looked like you, I would do it.'

Arce said she has plenty of volunteers in the wings to pose for a male version of the calendar. She would even find a place for Randy Ferbey.

"I think," she said with a chuckle, "I could do wonders for him."

© National Post 2006

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