After seven years together, Kevin Martin and John Morris are going their separate ways, the team has announced today.
“Unfortunately we have had a challenging past few seasons and have not lived up to our expectations of being the best curling team in the world,” said Morris. “As much as we’ve all tried very hard to find a way to fight back and get better, in the end it was obvious that we needed a change. Myself and Kevin were no longer thriving in our back-end role like we did in our 2010 Olympic gold-medal run. I have always been a very driven and intense athlete and right now, in this situation, I feel my passion and love for the game of curling is not where it needs to be. As a result, it is with a very heavy heart that I will be stepping down as my role of third on Team Martin.”
Morris and Martin teamed up with second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert prior to the 2006-07 season and that foursome was one of the most dominant in the sport’s history, capturing titles at the Tim Hortons Brier in 2008 at Winnipeg and 2009 at Calgary, both with undefeated records, and also winning the world men’s championship in 2008 at Grand Forks, N.D., and finishing second a year later at the Ford World Men’s Championship in Moncton, N.B.
The team also won the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver by winning the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Two months later, the Martin team went unbeaten in Vancouver to win Olympic gold.
“It is never an easy thing to have a team member decide to leave your team,” said Martin. “John Morris was an integral part of what made Team Martin the best team in curling for many years and Olympic gold medallists (in 2010). But change is unfortunately inevitable. We want to take this opportunity to wish John the very best in the future. Team Martin will be back in the fall ready to continue our run towards the Sochi Olympics.”
With three players still remaining from the team that qualified for the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, Dec. 1 to 8 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, the Martin team keeps the direct-entry berth it claimed by winning the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling. A replacement player for Morris will be announced at a later date.
“This is the end of a great chapter in my life and I’m looking forward to what the future may bring,” said Morris. “I wish Ben, Marc and Kevin nothing but the best moving forward. I truly believe that with bringing in someone new to the team, it just might be the spark this team needs to find their way back to the Olympic podium in 2014. I would like to thank my teammates for the great run we had, and the wonderful memories that were created along the way. Winning the 2010 gold medal for our country has been a highlight of my life. I would further like to thank our friends, family, fans, and sponsors for all their love and continued support.”