Before the Winter Olympics in 2010, curling pants were fairly nondescript. Curling, as the New York Times later wrote, was a “sport in which athletes traditionally wear black and draw little notice outside curling circles.”
But the Norwegian men’s team in Vancouver changed everything. Instead of basic black, they wore so-ugly-you’ll-love-them argyle pants in red, indigo, and white — the colors of the Norwegian flag.
Then, in 2014, they cemented their fashion icon status, sporting a wide variety of Norway-themed slacks as they competed in Sochi.
There were zigzags! Swirls! A literal flag print! A wildcard floral! The boys were back in (a different) town.
Although they didn’t place in Sochi, the team’s popularity has only soared from there. A Facebook group dedicated to its pants — not the team, just the pants — currently has over 480,000 followers.
And now, fans are eagerly awaiting the curlers’ latest uniforms, which feature an explosive print called “Icicles” and are currently making all kinds of waves on the pre-Pyeongchang press circuit. And, as has been the case in years past, the team — comprised of Christoffer Svae, Haavard Vad Petersson, Torger Nergaard and Thomas Ulsrud — has matching jackets, too.
They also have 11 other outfits prepared, which they’ll unveil as they advance through the competition.
To be fair, the curlers’ uniforms are not the grandest apparel you’ll see during the winter games. That honor probably goes to figure skating costumes — the elegant and the garish alike.
And if you want “fashion” in the traditional sense, please watch literally anything other than the Olympics.
But the Norway curlers do deserve a lot of credit for employing fashion to coax more eyes onto their sport. Per TIME, sponsorship money from Loudmouth, the company that makes the pants, has also literally helped pay for their Olympic dreams.
And because they’ve become so famous for their apparel, other potential sponsors have sought them out as well. “They want to be associated with the brand we’ve made,” one player told NBC News.
Not bad for some stretchy slacks, right?
You can watch these athletes and their pants go for the gold in Pyeongchang starting February 8. Here’s hoping they get far enough for us to see this year’s full line of prints.