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Junior Athlete of the Week: Jenny Gates

This week’s junior Athlete of the Week is Jenny Gates of Sudbury, Ont.

Jenny Gates

Birthdate: April 22, 1990
Birthplace: Sudbury, Ont.
Hometown: Sudbury, Ont,
Curling Club: Idylwydle Golf and Country Club
Current Team: Team Kendra Lilly
Position: Second
Delivery: Right
Nickname: Jen

Getting to know Jenny Gates

There’s no doubt that Jenny Gates wants another kick at the can.

She played second for Kendra Lilly’s Northern Ontario champs at the 2010 M and M Meat Shops Canadian junior men’s and women’s curling championships last season in Sorel-Tracy, Que., and came oh-so-close to a national title.

After a 9-3 round-robin, Lilly, Gates, vice-skip Kim Curtin, lead Kaitlynd Burns and coach Jan Pula headed into the semifinal against B.C.’s Dailene Sivertson with high hopes, but gave up single points in the 10th and 11th ends to lose 4-3 and take home a bronze medal.

Gates finished the week off strong, curling 88 per cent in that semifinal loss to stoke the fires for her final season of junior eligibility.

She’s enjoyed a great deal of success up until now; she won three straight Northern Ontario bantam championships (2005 through 2007), and also played in the prestigious Optimist International juvenile bonspiel in 2006 and 2008, as well as Ontario Winter Games on two occasions.

But in the past two seasons, Gates has stepped it up. Her team has claimed two straight Northern Ontario junior championships, and she also played for Laurentian University at the 2009 CIS national university championships and took home a bronze medal.

Gates also has worked to develop the sport of curling; she was an assistant coach at the Eau Claire Curling Camp in Wisconsin, and also has worked with kids at her home club in Sudbury as part of the Little Rocks program, and volunteered her services at the 2009 Northern Ontario bantam championship at the Idylwydle Golf and Country Club.

Click thumbnail to enlarge (Photo: CCA/Brennan Schnell)

Click thumbnail to enlarge (Photo: CCA/Brennan Schnell)

Click thumbnail to enlarge (Photo: CCA/Brennan Schnell)

Quick Hits with Jenny Gates

Do you have any superstitions?
“Sort of! When I have a good game of curling I tend to do the same things before the next game, such as wear my hair the same, wear the same socks!”

Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party.
“Kevin Martin, my Nonna and Christian Bale.”

If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why?
“Tennis; it’s one of the few sports in which women are professional, and I really don’t like golf!”

If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why?
“Hmmm . . . I don’t think there’s anything that needs to change right now.”

What music do you like to listen to before a game?
“I like to listen to pump-up music before games, music I would listen to at a party or out with friends!”

Favourite:
— Website? “Facebook or anything with cooking.”
— Order from Tim Hortons? “Everything bagel with cheddar cheese.”
— Vacation destination? “Europe — anywhere! Favourite so far: Italy.”
— Junk food? “Big Mac.”

Do you have any pet peeves?
“I’d have to say my biggest one would be disorganization (I’m a bit of a perfectionist and clean freak!). I also hate when people are late!”

Three things you always travel with?
“My iPod, cellphone and lip balm.”

First thing on your Bucket List?
“Overcome my fear of heights.”

Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels?
“Relaxing with the team, eating, or visiting with other teams and family.”

One thing most people don’t know about you?
“I’m always hungry!”

What is the biggest misconception about curlers?
“That we aren’t athletic.”

Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal:
“Sweeping the draw to the button.”