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Ron Judd's Olympics Insider

Ron Judd, an Olympics junkie and Seattle Times columnist who has covered Olympic sports since 1997, will use this space to serve up news and opinion on the Summer and Winter Games -- also inviting you to chime in on Planet Earth's biggest get-together.

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November 4, 2008 11:15 AM

Canada's female biathletes get nekkid for training $$

Posted by Ron Judd

You'd think most Canadian winter-sport athletes looking to medal in Vancouver's Games would be mostly fully funded, thanks to the nation's "Own the Podium" program and other assistance programs.

Appparently not.

Five members of Planet Maple Leaf's biathlon (that's XC skiing and target shooting, for the non-fan) team say they're posing nude on a calendar to supplement training funds.

According to FastSkier.com, where the skiers are pictured where nothing but their biathlon rifles and a smile, the women claim they're underfunded compared to other Olympic sports. And besides, they say, issuing an argument familiar from other cases of Olympians shedding clothes for profit, it's all about empowering others.

Read for yourself at the calendar Web site:

"Our goal is to empower and inspire women and girls by expressing the beauty of a healthy, athletic body," the Web site proclaims. "The net proceeds will go directly towards funding our expenses leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. "

The five athletes -- Zina Kocher, of Red Deer, Alta.; Sandra Keith, of Calgary; Rosanna Crawford, of Canmore, Alta.; Megan Imrie, of Falcon Lake, Man.; and Megan Tandy, of Prince, George, B.C. -- are getting downright cheeky about promoting this thing.

The group recently "turned on the heat on a frigid Calgary morning when they roller skied through the downtown core during noon hour with nothing more than shorts, race bibs for tops, and their traditional biathlon rifles locked on their backs," FastSkier.com reports.

Insert your own rifle butt joke here.

The calendars are $25.

And we've got to wonder: Since there are only five biathletes, does everybody get more than one month, or does the official Nude Biathlon Calendar end after May?


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Blogroll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.