CALGARY – It was a promise Cheryl Bernard figured she wouldn’t have to keep.
The Calgary curler made a deal with teammate Cori Bartel that if they qualifed for the Olympics they’d get tattoos to mark the achievement.
So when Bernard’s rink won the Olympic trials in Edmonton last month, Bartel was quick to remind her skip about the agreement they’d made.
“It was probably two or three years ago when we started this process and Cori and I are actually the ones who kind of decided this is what we’re going to do,” Bernard said in an interview Thursday at her Calgary gym. “I don’t know that I ever believed it would happen and Cori reminded me the minute we won.”
The week after their victory, Bernard, Bartel and teammate Susan O’Connor headed to the tattoo parlour. The lone holdout was second Carolyn Darbyshire, whose daughter didn’t want her to do it.
The three curlers now have the colourful Olympic rings and a small Maple Leaf branded on the inside of their forearms.
“I’m like, if I’m ever going to get a tattoo this is going to be the one I wanted,” Bernard said. “It’s something even my grandmother would approve of.”
They’re not the first Canadian curlers to get tattoos. Shannon Kleibrink and her teammates, who competed at the 2006 Games in Turin, had the rings and a Maple Leaf tattooed on their ankles.
Bernard, 43, has altered her body to mark a special occasion before. She got a stud in her right nostril to celebrate her 40th birthday and plans to keep it in during the Olympics.
“Oh yeah, I never take it out,” she said. “It was my ‘I made it to 40 thing’ and it was just kind of spur of the moment and you know what – I like to do kind of different things.”
So does that mean there be more tattoos in the future?
“It hurt a lot,” she said. “Someone asked me if I win a medal if I intend to add to it and the answer is no.”