Jennifer Jones’s unbeaten Olympic run: Day 13 Newsmaker
Skip leads Canada to gold in Sochi after 11 straight wins
It was the perfect Olympics for Canada in women’s curling, and we can thank Jennifer Jones for that.
The Winnipeg skip and her rink of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen wrote a page in the history of the sport Thursday in Sochi.
And it was a perfect page.
The 39-year-old curler led Canada past Sweden in the final at Ice Cube Curling Center to win the country’s first gold in the event since 1998 in Nagano.
But as difficult as winning an Olympic title may be, the gold medal was only the last chapter of a remarkable 11-0 unbeaten run in Russia.
Canada defeated every opponent they faced during the tournament, becoming the first women’s team to go undefeated in the Olympics.
"I was saying when it happened, we are going to have that little 'OR' [Olympic record] next to our name forever," Jones said.
She made it look easy
Nine different nations in total fell to the Canadians, with curling powerhouses Great Britain and two-time defending champion Sweden losing twice to Jones & Co.
“It's crazy to me,” said Jones. “It's one of those records that can only be tied and never be broken, so we will always be remembered for it."
She will also be remembered for her resiliency.
Jones’s road to the Olympics wasn’t as smooth as her tournament in Sochi. The veteran failed to qualify for the last two Winter Games and a knee surgery to repair a torn ligament in 2012 put her career in jeopardy.
"When I hurt my knee I wasn't sure if I'd ever play again, and now we're gold medallists," she said. "The girls stuck with me and I had the best doctors and physio team and couldn't have had a better recovery.”
The four-time Canadian champion said her daughter Isabella, teammates and the support from Canadian fans gave her the motivation to win it all.
"I feel like we achieved this moment for so many people in our lives, all of our friends and our families and Canada,” Jones said. "That is priceless. There's no greater feeling in the world than that."
Very humble remarks from a true champion.
However, it’s clear her outstanding performance on the rink was the reason they are not only gold medallists, but arguably the best curling team ever to represent Canada in the Olympic Games.
(With files from Reuters)