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    Sunday, February 15, 1998

    Denmark to strike it rich

    By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun
    KARUIZAWA -- The historic silver-medal win by Denmark's women's curling team was worth about $4,500 U.S. apiece.
      Just what it's worth to curling in the nation that counts only 572 curlers among its population of five million remains to be seen.
      "I hope we can get a curling rink. We have only one sheet," said Danish second Dorthe Holm.
      "And that's broken a lot of the time. It's broken now."
      With the Helena Blach Lavrsen rink of Holm, lead Trine Qvist and third Magit Poertner winning Denmark's first-ever Olympic Games medal _ the country's previous best was a ninth-place finish in speed skating _ curling has been getting unprecedented attention in Denmark.
      "There's curling fever there now," said Holm. "People are getting up at 5 a.m. to watch the games. I think we're facing history when we get home. We can't feel it here. Maybe for a week or two it's going to be fun."
      The women each received 30,000 Kroner from the Danish Olympic Association, half of what they would have received for winning the gold.
      "We're very happy to give it to them," said Morten Hansen of the Danish Olympic Association. "We would have been very happy to give them 60,000."
      The biggest sports in Denmark are soccer, badminton and handball.