Regina's Ben Hebert (right) and teammate Marc Kennedy sweep during a draw at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon on September 27, 2013. Lasia Kretzel/News Talk Radio
Curling rinks around the country just got a little hotter thanks to some of Canada’s most famous curling men stripping down to nearly nothing for their first charity calendar.
Regina’s Ben Hebert, lead for Canada’s gold medal 2010 Vancouver Olympics team, will grace the month of October in the 2014 Men of Curling Calendar, released Tuesday.
“It’s for a great cause and I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. We thought it would just be fun to do,” Hebert said. “We don’t get asked a whole bunch to be models in our sport by any stretch of the imagination.”
Women like Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard and Scottish skip Eve Muirhead have posed for charity calendars for several years in everything from workout clothes to cocktail dresses. Meanwhile, for their first calendar, the men have opted for maximum skin.
“It was a little bit awkward. I haven’t taken a whole bunch of shots with not a lot of clothing on,” Hebert said, adding that in addition to helping others, the calendar may also help curlers.
“I think the stereotype of curlers drinking beer, (is) slowing going away with a lot of athletes in the game. I think that’s what the calendar represents.”
Mike McEwen has the privilege of being the first calendar cover. The Manitoba skip is photographed wearing form-fitting shorts while balancing on concrete blocks.
Manitoba skip Mike McEwen "Mr. Movember" on the cover of the Men of Curling 2014 Calendar.
Some of the other athletes include Olympic and world champion third John Morris, World Championships skip Brad Jacobs, Jacob’s second E.J. Harnden, Glenn Howard's lead Craig Savill, Jeff Stoughton's third Jon Mead, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud, Sweden's Niklas Edin and Scotland's David Murdoch.
Each calendar retails for $29.95 with a portion of the proceeds going to a charity of the curler’s choosing. Hebert opted to donate his share to KidSport.
“Thought I would try to give back to the community and the stuff that helped me grow up and make me the person I am today,” he said. “Sports are a big part of my life and I think the KidSport program is just great to get underprivileged kids involved in sports.
Curling clubs can also sell the calendars for fundraisers.
Even though he was excited to give the calendar a shot this year, Hebert isn’t sure if he’ll do it again. “I don’t know if I’d do it again, they might not ask me to do it again after they see my picture,” he said.