Curlers Rock Out in Heavy Metal Video

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What an amazing story this is.

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They are the defending world champions and the gold-medal favourites at next month’s Olympic Winter Games in Italy. And now they’ve grabbed electric guitars instead of brushes.

Anette Norberg’s powerhouse curling squad from Harnosand, Sweden gets top billing in a new rock video from Swedish heavy-metal act Hammerfall (both in photo), and it proves that curlers and metalheads certainly do rock.

Hammerfall guitarist Oscar Dronjak in a statement posted on the band’s website:

“In preparation for the Olympic Games in February, we joined forces with one of Sweden’s brightest hopes for a gold medal. With heavy metal as a source of strength, the girls can now focus on bringing home the gold.”

On ice, Team Norberg crushed the USA 10-4 to win the 2005 worlds in Paisley, Scotland. On video, the team arrives for a game only to be confronted by their opponents: a wild-haired rock band with dubious curling skills. The two sides battle to a predictable finish – with rocks, brooms and an on-ice drum kit – but not before the attractive athletes have morphed into leather and chainmail-cladrivetheads themselves.

Watch the video here.

Team Norberg in a prepared statement said:

“Our big adventure (Torino 2006) is getting closer and closer, and we are in great spirit! For us to succeed, our serious training has to give space to more relaxing elements. Such an element is this more unusual activity. For our team this has created loads of positive energy and is something that beats everything in team-building that we have ever experienced.”

The song, Hearts On Fire from Hammerfall’s 2002 release Crimson Thunder, will be re-released as a single in Sweden only. Kudos also go to Acuvue, a sponsor of both Team Norberg and the Olympic Winter Games, who helped bring the squad and band together for the project.

According to a past Olympic curler, this is at least the third time a music video has embraced the sliding sport. George Karrys won silver for Canada at the 1998 Nagano Games and is the publisher of The Curling News:

“The Sarah Harmer song Silver Road was part of the soundtrack to the film Men With Brooms, and the front man for The Tragically Hip (Gord Downie) sang backing vocals and also appeared in the video as a curling icemaker,” said Karrys. “And in 1998, another Canadian band called Gob went curling in their video for You're Too Cool.

“But this is the first time any curling team, let alone Olympians, have done anything like this. It’s completely over the top and I think it’s great.”

Nine years after their chaotic on-ice experience, pop-punksters Gob remain fond of the ancient sport known as The Roaring Game.

“We are huge fans of the sport, we think it’s pretty fascinating,” said lead guitarist Theo Goutzinakis. “We spent $2,500 on that video. Aside from bruised knees, and broken brushes–and we lost a curling rock during the shoot–all went according to plan.

“We were originally going to call that album Music To Curl To.”

Norberg and teammates Eva Lund, Catharine Lindahl and Anna Bergstrom have won five consecutive European championships and open their Olympic campaign Feb. 13 against Canada’s Shannon Kleibrink. Many pundits are predicting that matchup to be a preview of the eventual gold-medal final.