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Playboy plugs nude curling calendar

A fundraising calendar featuring nude female curlers is featured in the March 2006 issue of Playboy magazine.

With the Olympic women's curling tournament underway, a fundraising calendar featuring nude curlers is getting some exposure in the new issue of Playboy magazine.

The March 2006 edition of the American publication includes a story on the 2006 Ana Arce team sponsorship calendar, which features 12 photos of nude and scantily clad female curlers from around the world.

"When we saw these photographs, it became clear that the lady curlers are the beauties to beat in Torino," Playboy editor Josh Robertson told The Curling News. "Move over, figure skaters."

Women representing Italy, Denmark, Spain, England, Poland, Germany, Austria and Canada were photographed for the calendar, which retails for about $36 U.S.

Canadian Lynsay Ryan, the 21-year-old daughter of two-time world champion skip Pat Ryan, appears in a see-through sarong in the forests of Fussen, Germany.

The calendar is the brainchild of Ana Arce, a photographer and elite curler who represented Spain at the 2005 European championships.

"I think it's going to change the image of the sport, which is not so nice," Arce, who also posed for the calendar, said before its release in November 2005. "I've been playing for eight years and there are so many beautiful girls playing and nobody knows it."

Reigning Olympic men's gold medallist Paal Trulsen of Norway, who is defending his title in Turin, Italy, welcomed the calendar when he first heard of it.

"It's about time," Trulsen said. "It's a fun thing, but we want curling to be just like other sports. All I know is, I'm buying it."

with files from The Curling News