Sochi 2014 - Canada takes on racy Russia and wacky Norway for gold

Russian lingerie model Anna Sidorova is set to turn heads and Thomas Ulsrud's Norwegian team is also sure to grab a few second looks for their quirky fashion when the Sochi Olympics curling gets underway on Monday.


But the only way Canadian gold medal favorites Brad Jacobs and Jennifer Jones plan to dazzle fans is with their curling.

"The Norwegians are famous for their pants and it brings a lot of colour to the game, that's their thing, hats off to them," Jacobs told reporters on Thursday. "I had no idea about the Russian lingerie model but curling doesn't pay enough so everyone needs a job."

Sidorova, who has already become a social media sensation before the first stone has been cast, will dial up the heat at the Ice Cube curling venue thanks to photos of the racy Russian skip in what can safely be described as non-traditional curling gear that would do little to keep out the cold.

The fun-loving Norwegian foursome, silver medal winners at the 2010 Vancouver Games, are back and promising even more of the outrageous, eye-popping outfits that turned the wacky team into instant cult figures.

The Canadians, however, from a country boasting more curlers than the rest of the world combined, are taking a more businesslike approach to the competition.

"Hopefully our identity is going to be the same as the Olympic trials - intense," said Jacobs. "This a chance of a lifetime so we are going to be bringing everything we've got to every single game.

"The emotion that pours out of us, sometimes we can't control it and as long as we're playing well we're going to be very emotional."

Only the Canadian men's and women's ice hockey teams in Sochi will be under greater pressure than the curlers to bring home gold.

Since curling was added to the Olympic lineup at the 1998 Nagano Games, Canadian rinks have won medals at each edition in both the men's and women's competitions.

On the men's side Canada has dominated taking silver in Nagano and Salt Lake City and gold in Turin and Vancouver.

The torch has now been passed to Jacobs, who will try to skip Canada to a third straight gold in Sochi, while Jones will bid to put the Canadian women on top of the podium for the first time and end a run of silver and bronze medal finishes.

"Gold is the mission," said Jacobs. "Anything less than gold we will all be disappointed.

"A medal at the Olympic Games is obviously phenomenal but gold is what we are going for."

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