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Canadian curlers go undefeated for the gold

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Canada won the gold medal Saturday in its No. 2 sport of curling, with Kevin Martin's men defeating a Norwegian foursome that charmed the Olympics with its celebrated flamboyant pants.

"Today and all week, he was amazing," Canadian second Marc Kennedy said of his skipper after the 6-3 victory. "We had an all-around good team game today, and you couldn't have it at a better time."

This was the second straight Olympic gold for the Canadian men curlers, although Martin was not the skip in Turin. This team went 11-0, capping the run with a commanding victory before a raucous sellout crowd that clanged cowbells, honked like Canada geese and madly waved the Maple Leaf. Fans broke into the national anthem in the 10th end.

Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud told his team all tournament long to just have a ball in these games, and it brought out the best in this bunch.

Christoffer Svae picked out the loud, diamond-print golf pants that instantly turned these curlers into cult heroes across the globe.

On this day - with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the building - the pants didn't dance.

"I thought we couldn't lose in these pants. But, hey, man," Ulsrud said. "Those guys, they played brilliant today. We played not our best game, and that's just how good those guys are."

The 43-year-old "Old Bear" Martin delivered eight years after a heartbreaking miss on his final offering of the Salt Lake City Olympics that was heavy by an inch - in a loss to the Norwegians.

Martin's team became the first since curling returned as a medal sport in 1998 to go unbeaten on the way to gold.

Martin came through a day after Cheryl Bernard and Canada's women fell short on their final rock to send Sweden to a second straight Olympic gold as 6.8 million Canadians watched.

With Norway sitting three in the house in the seventh, Martin settled a red rock right on the button with his next-to-last throw.

Ulsrud then failed to knock Martin's stone far enough away and Martin's last shot was perfect to score two for a 5-2 lead.

Martin didn't have his best day at 78-percent shooting, but he converted a big one to the innermost circle in the ninth and knocked away a great shot by Ulsrud. That gave Canada a three-point cushion going into the 10th.

Martin's teammates came to play, too. Morris, shooting third, pulled off a triple takeout in the second end, then a key double takeout in the fifth.

"Get outta town!" he said, pumping his fist. He took out two more Norwegian stones in the eighth, drawing cheers of "Johnny-Mo!"

Kennedy also had one of his most consistent outings of these Olympics, shooting with 95 percent accuracy.

New York Sports