Norway send in clowns with outrageous pants

Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:37pm EST
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By Jeffrey Jones

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Norwegian Olympic men's curling team are highly unlikely to be accused of being all mouth and no trousers.

They have become the talk of competitors and fans alike at the Vancouver Games with their red, white and blue harlequin-pattern pants.

The team squared off against top-ranked Canada on the first day of competition on Tuesday, losing a tight game 7-6 in extra ends but it was the loud legwear which had the Vancouver Olympic Center buzzing.

Swedish captain Niklas Edin beat Britain in his first match, but joked that he was still distracted by the trousers worn by the Norwegians on the adjacent sheet of ice.

"We saw four clowns coming up and down the ice," Edin said. "No, it's a fun thing."

The pants are made by LoudMouth Golf, the brand made famous by professional golfer John Daly. The company refers to them as "the first argyle pants for men in the world."

Norway skipper Thomas Ulsrud said he did not expect the fuss his slacks are causing, although the curling world is sometimes seen as a staid one. His team mate Christoffer Svae was the driving force behind the fashion statement.

"He's like, 'Hey guys -- we've got to play in them. They're cool. Come on, you'll get used to them, you know?'" Ulsrud said.   Continued...

<p>Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud watches his shot during men's curling against Canada at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 16, 2010. Sweeping are Haavard Vad Petersson (L) and Christoffer Svae. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford</p>