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'Suddenly I love curling': Russian star who became an internet sensation for her looks backs it up with medal

Irish Mirror logoIrish Mirror 13/02/2018 Andrew Gilpin

a man skiing in the snow: Credits: REX/Shutterstock © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REX/Shutterstock Curling has come sliding into the 21st century - and it's all thanks to one woman.

Despite having a cult following for it's tactical approach and liberal use of brushes, the age-old Scottish pastime can thank Anastasia Bryzgalov for a renaissance at the Winter Olympics.

In fact fans can't stop talking about Anastasia - the curler who they say looks like filmstar Angelina Jolie.

The 25-year-old has been wowing social media and gained a new army of fans for her dazzling displays on the ice - leading her mixed doubles partner, and husband Alexander Krushelnitskiy, to win the bronze medal.

And it's not gone unnoticed Tom Sica wrote on Twitter: "I'm still rooting for USA, but Anastasia Bryzgalova, the Russian curler looks like a freaking model."

While Brooke mused: "I thought curling was a sport for old balding men but Anastasia Bryzgalova be looking like Megan Fox and suddenly I love curling."

a man sitting at a beach: Credits: a_nastasia92/Instagram © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: a_nastasia92/Instagram

a person wearing a suit and tie: Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP

The husband-and-wife duo won the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Sweden back in 2016, but were narrowly beaten by reigning world champions Switzerland in the semi-final play offs in South Korea.

Now competing for the Olympic Athletes of Russia team due to sanctions placed on the Russian Olympic organisation due to doping allegations - they won a historic first-ever Games medal in the mixed event's bronze playoff.

Bryzgalova has a master's degree from the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health and became interested in curling in 2009, when she saw an advertisement for a curling club at an ice sports complex.

She now is leading the newly-created 'mixed curling' discipline at the Games in Pyeongchang .

a man walking in the snow: Credits: REX/Shutterstock © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: REX/Shutterstock

A faster-paced game than traditional single-sex curling, teams of two - a female and male - complete up to just eight "ends" as opposed to 10, and there is no shot-calling "skip" as in the four-player version.

Called the "roaring game" from the rumbling sound the 20kg (44-pound) polished-granite stones make as they slide over the pebbled ice sheet, curling is believed to have its origins on frozen ponds in medieval Scotland.

Long dominated by Canada and northern European countries, it is the world's fastest-growing winter sport - and with Anastasia leading the charge, you sort of know why...

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