Five-ring Circus

What’s More Vulgar Than a Naked Curler?

Seth, you scamp—

Should your curling predilection blossom into an actual fetish, be aware that some of the sport’s distaff practitioners have made the inevitable move toward self-exploitation. Ana Arce, a photographer who has served as the skip of the Andorran women’s team, is shilling a calendar featuring a dozen nude or semi-nude curlers. “This is a tasteful, artistic product that will help the models raise much-needed funds for training and competition,” Arce assures us in the group’s promotional materials. No word on whether Tom Ford is involved, but the one photo available online definitely owes a debt to Robert Mapplethorpe.

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Angela Ruggiero 

No U.S. athletes were involved in the confection of that cheesecake. For our share of crassitude, Americans have to rely, once again, on Donald Trump. Over on NBC’s Olympics Web site, that short-fingered vulgarian is inviting us to cast a vote for one of 12 Olympians who hope to land themselves on The Apprentice. I’m rooting for hockey defensewoman and Harvard alumna Angela Ruggiero, despite the fact that she claims the Dave Matthews Band as her favorite group. I’m eager to hear who earns your vote. Will it be snowboarding silver-medalist Danny Kass? (He does have his own apparel line.) Perhaps skater and MBA student Allison Baver? Please remember that a spot on Trump’s show is not considered a punishment.

I am indeed looking forward to this evening’s luge—and not strictly for noble reasons. According to today’s New York Times, the track at Cesana Pariol has been uncommonly dangerous. Six female lugers crashed out before finishing races earlier this week, and another, the beloved “Grandma Luge,” was unable even to start after getting injured in training. While I certainly hope that no one else gets hurt, I would be lying if I denied that, like aficionados of NASCAR and scholars of Vinko Bogataj, I am a sucker for a good crash.

In any case, doubles luge doesn’t get me thinking Brokeback so much as buddy comedy. Two old partners reunite after a long falling-out, slipping into the spandex again after all these years for one last shot at the gold. I like it for Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, with Kate Beckinsale as the love interest and, as the coach of the rival Germans, Udo Kier.

Pop-culturally,
Troy