America's neighbors to the north are determined to sit atop the medals table when the Vancouver Games are complete. In 2010, the Canadian Olympic Association started a $110 million project to fufill that mission, dubbing it Own the Podium. One sport the Canadians are banking on to help reach that goal is curling, the game of shuffleboard-on-ice that has morphed into a cult television hit; it's been estimated that more than 90% of the world's curlers live in Canada. Martin is the Canadian skip basically, the captain, who calls the shots for the four-man team and at 43, he can pass for a young buck on the curling circuit. The two-time Olympian, who won a silver in Salt Lake City, wants you to know that curlers are serious athletes: biomechanical researchers are studying their strokes, and they often hit the gym to fight fatigue while they sweep the ice. "The image of the athlete in our sport has changed so much," Martin told the Edmonton Sun. "Who would hit the bike for a half-hour before a curling game 10 years ago?"
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