The Norwegian curling team likes to have fun.
So, it's with that in mind that I will definitely chalk their 'pantsless protest' up to being (ahem) a tongue in cheek exercise.
As they were at the 2010 Olympic Games, the Norwegian men's curling team is once again a focal point at Sochi, after they let loose their latest funky pants attack on an unsuspecting viewing world.
They're not for everyone. Not my cup of tea, to be honest.
Seems to be some question over that, as raised by the folks at PolicyMic.com.
Could be that the fancy pants designs run afoul of International Olympic Committee rules. Although no one in their right mind would actually enforce that rule if it were the case, skip Tomas Ulsrud and his teammates decided to hit the great outdoors in Sochi wearing only their briefs, as you can see in the accompanying picture.
According to the digging done by the folks at PolicyMic:
International curling rules require "All team members [to] wear identical uniforms and appropriate footwear when accessing the field of play for games or practice sessions" and state that "the colour of these garments shall be registered with the WCF prior to the start of each competition." But, there are no specific details about uniform pants.
WCF stands for "World Curing Federation" and while PolicyMic was not able to get an answer from them on the question of the Norwegian pants, curling columnist Bob Weeks did, humourously reporting:
The WCF sent me an email that says, I think, that The Pants are OK inside the Ice Cube because the WCF looks after things in there. But when they go out of the curling facility, they fall under IOC rule so they might be in trouble.
Guess the WCF email was a little scattered.
What do Ulsrud and his mates think of all this?
I'd love to tell you but their website contains a message that says "This site is closed during the Olympic period."
They do have a twitter account, but just barely. Even they admit you might be better off following someone else.
We're dinosaurs when it comes to Twitter. You might wanna follow @curlingsander to figure out what's going on. We're too busy having fun!
— Team Ulsrud (@TeamUlsrud) February 12, 2014
Of all the things that could happen in Putin's Russia, I sure wouldn't have picked Norway's curling pants as at all likely to cause controversy.
As far as the pantsless protest goes? The guys are just likely it's so balmy in that part of the country.