Featured Curling Athlete: Kaitlyn Lawes

When Kaitlyn Lawes is on your curling team, good things tend to happen. The young vice-skip for Jennifer Jones’ Winnipeg quartet has been piling up successes on the pebbled ice for a decade now, winning a closetful of provincial and Team Canada jackets dating back to her first provincial title in 2002 when she won the Manitoba 13-and-under title.

Kaitlyn Lawes in action at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (Photo Andrew Klaver)

Since then, she’s enjoyed success at every level, capturing a pair of provincial juvenile titles, and following up with back-to-back Manitoba and Canadian junior championships in 2008 and 2009 (she won bronze and silver at the world juniors). Upon graduating to the women’s ranks, she spent a season in Alberta playing with Edmonton’s Cathy King, participating in the Tim Hortons Road to the Roar Pre-Trials event in Prince George. In her spare time during that season, she also taught curling day camps at the Saville Centre in Edmonton. Following the 2009-10 season, she returned home to play third for Jones, joining a squad that would hit the medal podium at the past two Scotties Tournament of Hearts, winning silver in 2011 in Charlottetown and bronze earlier this year in Red Deer, Alberta. On both occasions, Lawes led all vice-skips in shooting percentage to earn first-team all-star honours. As well, Lawes played a pivotal role in the Jones team capturing first place at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling in Cranbrook, B.C., to clinch a berth in the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in Winnipeg. Lawes has been active in helping build the sport as well. She has served as a coach at the Trillium Curling Camp in Guelph, Ontario, (she used to attend as a student), and also coached last year at the Team Glenn Howard adult curling camp. And whenever she gets a chance, she works with junior curlers in Winnipeg. Another example of Lawes’s willingness to give: in 2010, she donated more than 10 inches of her hair to a program that helps produce wigs for women going through cancer treatments. Birthplace: Winnipeg Hometown: Winnipeg Curling Club: St.Vital Current Team: Team Jennifer Jones Position: Third Delivery: Right Nickname: KL Quick Hits with Kaitlyn Lawes Do you have any superstitions? “Not really, no. Generally if something seems to be working, then I’ll stick to it. But nothing is predetermined, it kind of just happens.” Three people, living or not, whom you would invite to a dinner party. “My dad, Tiger Woods, and Michael Buble. My Dad, because I miss him like crazy. Tiger Woods, so I can hear some of his juicy stories, and Michael Buble so I can melt away listening to him sing.” If you could be a star any other sport, what would it be, and why? “Oddly enough, probably beach volleyball. I always loved to play when I was in high school. And there’s nothing like spending a nice summer day on the beach! Obviously to make that dream happen I’d have to grow at least a solid foot! I’ll let you know when I hit my growth spurt!” If you could change any rule in curling, which one would it be, and why? “If a skip’s last rock of the game is being thrown for the win, and it noticeably picks (i.e. stops or goes completely sideways) I think they should get a re-do! Nothing like losing or winning a game because of a pick!” What music, if any, do you like to listen to before a game? “The majority of the music on my iPod is definitely country!” Favourite: — Website? “Right now, I would honestly have to say it is Twitter. Never thought I would ever say that, but there are some crazy and hilarious things some people say on there.” — Order from Tim Hortons? “Medium Coffee with one-quarter hot chocolate, and their vanilla yogurt and berries! Yum!” — Vacation destination? “Anywhere! I have a crazy travel bug. Right now since it’s winter I’m itching to go some place hot!!! But I love anywhere in Europe as well!” — Junk food? “Anything sour.” Do you have any pet peeves? “People who ‘forget’ how to drive when the first snowfall hits in winter. We live in Winnipeg, its not like they haven’t seen snow before!” Person who had the most influence on your curling career. And why? “I have had a lot of amazing people in my life influence my curling career and who have got me to where I am today. I cannot thank them all enough for everything they have done, but there is one person who stands out the most to me, and that is my Dad. He had me hooked on the game since I could barely walk and was instrumental in every aspect of my game. We had a lot of amazing memories on the ice together and I learned so much from him. Unfortunately he never did get to see a lot of my accomplishments that he has helped me achieve. He passed away in November of 2007. He will always be my biggest fan and my biggest inspiration.” First thing on your Bucket List? “To see as many places in the world as I can! Like I said I have a huge travel bug, and I am always looking for my next adventure!” Favourite pastime between draws at cashspiels? “Eat and sleep. It’s amazing how many naps you can get in while you are on the road between games! If I can’t sleep, then I’m usually found watching TV or on my computer.” Mixed doubles in the Olympics — thumbs up?  Thumbs down? And why? “Yes Please! The more curling the better. I think its great that they are trying to expand the sport at the Olympic level. As well I think they could integrate mixed doubles into the club level. Couples could join, and it makes it easier for the people that don’t know three other curlers to play with. All they need is two! Who knows, maybe they will end up meeting a few other couples and join up to make a full team for the following season!” One thing most people don’t know about you? “Kaitlyn is my middle name!” Your ideal shot to win an Olympic gold medal: “Any shot to win an Olympic gold medal sounds pretty fantastic to me! Whatever Jen’s shot of choice is I’ll take it! I’ll be there to help her out with the line call. Hopefully it is something that won’t send our families’ nerves through the roof!”

Kaitlyn Lawes (Photo Andrew Klaver)