Created: 02/13/2014 8:37 PM WHEC.com
By: Justin Granit
You will find some of the finest athletes in the world in Sochi. Fearless, soaring 80 miles down a track or flying 80 yards down a mountain. The must see team though is a group of Norwegian curlers because of their pants. Credit East Rochester's Tony D'Orazio for the team’s popularity and in a twist of events. The pants and tony are helping one family remember their daughter.
There isn't much flash when it comes to curling. Nothing compared to a diva wide receivers, or NBA super stars. However, the growing popularity of the Norwegian team dates back to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics because of their pants.
Tony D'Orazio said, “There's they are curling with red white and blue pants, which was fascinating to me because everyone I knew wore black pants.”
Tony D'Orazio is one of the hundreds fascinated by that one of a kind attire. So much so that during those 2010 Vancouver Games, the East Rochester resident and avid curler created a Facebook page the Norwegian Olympic curling teams pants. After one day, the page received 10,000 likes.
After two days, 100,000 likes, then the national media picked up on it.
With all this attention, the company that manufactures the pants, fittingly named Loudmouth, decided to cash in. They gave Tony an affiliate link to place on his page.
D'Orazio never met Katie Beck. She was from Omaha, Nebraska. Their common bond is curling. Katie was an Olympic hopeful, but before reaching the games, she died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 24. The $600 Tony made from the pants, he donated to the fund. Katie's mother Jennifer says it’s one of the largest donations.
Jennifer Beck said, “Well we watched the Facebook page and when we found out he donated for Katie we were honored that he had chosen that.”
D’Orazio said, “This is now the beck family's life work, this is their baby. Since they can't have their baby, she died.This is how they keep their daughter’s memory alive.”
So for all of his efforts, Tony didn't pocket the money made from the pants. His priceless reward came a year after the Vancouver games when he met the Norwegian curling team at a match.
D’Orazio said, “The skip was doing an interview with a media outlet and I was walking by, he look out the corner of his eye, ‘I know who you are’. They are four of the most gracious men you will ever meet.”
If you come across the Norwegian curling team during these games, remember each stitch in the fabric of those argyle pants have woven a connection from Norway, to Rochester, to Nebraska.