CALGARY - From her selection as one of Canada's most beautiful people to an invitation to curl against men, Cheryl Bernard is amazed at what keeps coming around the corner at her after the Olympic Games.
The latest is her team's inclusion in the $100,000 TSN Curling Skins Game next January in Rama, Ont.
She and teammates Susan O'Connor, Carolyn Darbyshire and Cori Bartel, who won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics, are the second women's team to play in what has been an all-male event.
Jennifer Jones played Glenn Howard in the opening round of the 2009 game.
Bernard and company will take on Kevin Martin's team that won the men's Olympic gold.
World champion Kevin Koe from Edmonton and defending Skins championship David Murdoch of Scotland round out the field for the Jan. 22-23 event.
"The Skins is an amazing opportunity for us," Bernard said Wednesday.
Bernard, 43, was chosen by the celebrity culture magazine "Hello Canada" as one of the country's 50 most beautiful people.
"I think they were desperate. They couldn't find No. 50," she joked.
"That was a complete shock. It doesn't have anything to do with curling, but it was a very nice and a real different thing for me. I went to do the photo shoot for it and when I came home my husband said 'my gosh, get that makeup off your face.'
"I had to wear a dress. I haven't worn a dress in years."
Bernard's team lost the Olympic gold in Vancouver in heartbreaking fashion. Canada led 6-4 in the 10th end, but Sweden's Anette Norberg scored a pair to tie it.
Bernard had the winning shot in her hand in the extra end, but was unable to complete a double takeout for the title. That didn't seem to dim Canadians' admiration of her.
She's been taken aback at how much she is recognized in public.
"It's always going to be a shock when you're out and somebody goes 'Hey Cheryl' and I always think it's someone I know and then it is someone who knows you from TV," Bernard explains.
"It's strange in your life because you are used to your privacy and I am quite a private person that way. But people have been amazing. I've never had one negative comment."
Bernard, O'Connor, Derbyshire and Bartel had a team meeting in March to determine if they wanted to continue curling together, or take a hiatus after a hectic year.
The Olympic trials victory, their silver medal and winning the season-ending Players Championship opened doors for the team they decided they wanted to explore.
"We did talk about not playing next year," Bernard said. "When we sat down and discussed it, we said if we could get excited about next year and set some goals, we'd look at it.
"Once we started to talk about things we haven't done, which is maybe win a Canadian championship or a worlds, right away you could tell we got butterflies and we wanted to try for some more victories in curling."
The team also thought long and hard about playing in the Skins game. The men have a distinct advantage in physical strength. They can drag a rock further while sweeping and can clear a house with harder takeout weight.
Howard's team won $6,500 in skins, while the Jones team took home $1,500 in the first round last year.
"It's a new challenge we haven't had before in our curling careers, so it's something to get worked up about," Bernard said. "We said it would be good for us because we go into our provincial playdowns the weekend after.
"It's a good thing for us to play before that because it gets you thinking exactly where you have to put a rock."