It involves hot women sweeping. That’s enough for us.
Just their luck. Not only were the U.S. women curlers facing the tough home team on Tuesday, they were playing against the most popular woman athlete right now in all of Russia.
That would be Anna Sidorova, who has temporarily displaced Maria Sharapova here as the perfectly symmetrical face of sports. Maybe this flirtation won’t last long, because curling is . . . well, curling. But a few well-placed, provocative magazine photo sessions − “just three,” she said modestly − have propelled Sidorova into a position of considerable renown over here, and quite possibly wherever you are reading this.
The Ice Cube arena on Tuesday for this match was transformed into something not at all like your Canadian grandfather’s curling rink. The crowd was raucous, forcing the curlers to use hand signals instead of their usual vocal cues. If the fans didn’t always understand what they were watching, they knew whom they were watching. The Russian women on Sheet No. 3, not just Sidorova, have become hot Olympic tickets.
“It’s pleasant to have people like us,” Sidorova said in solid English, after the team skip systematically took apart the Americans, 9-7. “But they must appreciate we’re professional sportsmen first, then girls. I like people to say, ‘This is good curler.’ ”
Sidorova is a very good curler, and knows exactly what she is doing, on and off the ice. Her deliveries were on target against the U.S., whittling away an early 4-1 deficit. A carom shot in the seventh end rescued Russia and netted two points. She converted the equivalent of a bowling split in the ninth for two more points, knocking away two U.S. rocks with one stone, sealing matters.
If they want to improve ratings, slide on out there like this. Might be a bit tricky on the heels.