Justin Piercy – Thursday Feb. 20, 2014 11:06 ET
Jennifer Jones skips Canada to gold in women’s curling
Winnipeg rink’s perfect Olympic run ends Canadian drought
Canada’s women’s curling team strikes gold in SochiFrom left to right, alternate Kirsten Wall, lead Dawn McEwen, second Jill Officer, third Kaitlyn Lawes, and skip Jennifer Jones celebrate gold on Thursday in Sochi. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg rink finished their juggernaut-like run in Sochi on Thursday, and will leave Russia as Olympic champions.
The Canadian team of Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen beat Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson 6-3 in the women’s curling gold-medal final, capping off an undefeated Olympic run of 11 straight victories.
The win also capped off a tumultuous year-and-a-half for Jones, which saw the skip undergo knee surgery and give birth to her daughter.
“When I hurt my knee I wasn’t sure if I’d ever play again, and now we’re gold medallists,” Jones told CBC. “The girls stuck with me and I had the best doctors and physio team and couldn’t have had a better recovery.
“And then there’s Isabella, who’s the love of my life, and life couldn’t get any better.”
It was the first time a team had gone unbeaten in the Olympic tournament and was also Canada’s first gold medal in women’s curling since the late Sandra Schmirler won in Nagano in 1998.
“To be in the same category as Sandra Schmirler… they were such an amazing team and to be gold medallists alongside of them is quite an accomplishment for us and something that we’re very proud of,” Jones said. “We’re going to go down in the history books in the sport that we love, and that’s pretty special.”
Messy 9th end for Sweden
A measurement in Canada’s favour in the eighth end and a trio of misses by Sweden in the ninth sealed the win for Jones.
In that ninth end, Sweden’s Maria Wennerstroem had her final rock pick up debris, opening up a pair of takeouts by Lawes. That, coupled with a miss by Christina Betrup, left Canada lying three with skip stones remaining.
An in-turn raise by Prytz only gave Sweden second shot rock before Jones’ last shot of the end drew onto the button.
Prytz’s final chance to salvage a point evaporated when her attempt to knock Canada off the button nicked her own stone in the four-foot, giving Canada a steal of two and a three-point lead heading into the final end.
“Of course it’s disappointing,” Sigfridsson said. “I know we won silver, but it really just feels like we lost gold.”
Canada simply ran the Swedes out of rocks in the final end, and the Canadian celebration was on.
“It feels amazing, I think it’s still sinking in,” McEwen said. “I’m just so proud of the girls. We had a great week, we stuck together, we’re gold medallists and it feels awesome.”