In one of the most storied careers in competitive curling, it’s hard to imagine a whole lot of unresolved issues on the ‘bucket list’ for Jennifer Jones, the longtime pride of Winnipeg’s St. Vital Curling Club.
After all, she has competed 10 times in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, winning the national title four times – including three consecutive years from 2008-2010 – along with three silver and two bronze medals.
Her resume also includes a gold and bronze medal at the World women’s curling championship, a pair of victories at the Capital One Canada Cup and seven wins in World Curling Tour Grand Slam events, more than any other female skip.
But two goals yet to be achieved are the right to represent Canada at the Olympics and the opportunity to compete in an arena packed to the rafters with hometown fans. At least one of those will be checked off the list when Jones leads her team in the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by Monsanto, Dec. 1-8 in Winnipeg’s MTS Centre.
“We were excited to play our first Scotties in Brandon,” said Jones. “But we’ve never played in an arena in Winnipeg. To come here and play in front of your hometown crowd, in the biggest event, is incredible… we’re just so excited.
“There’s nothing like the Trials,” said Jones who will be taking her third shot at an Olympic berth. “We curl in so many events, but the Olympic Trials is different and to come to our hometown where there’s four Winnipeg teams playing… the energy, the excitement… it’s going to be out of this world. We’ve played in a lot of events where we’ve faced the home team. It will be nice to have the crowd on our side this time.”
The Jones foursome, including Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen, is following its established routine in the months leading up to the Roar of the Rings. “It’s been a four-year process and we’re not about to start changing things now,” said the skip. “We’re playing in all the usual events, we’ve been training hard as we always do, and hopefully it all comes together in December.”
One minor twist in the team’s schedule this year saw them play their season-opening event at the 2013 China Open in Beijing. “It was a great experience. We love to travel, but it’s always great to get back to Canada.”
When Jones hits the ice in December at MTS Centre it will be with hopes of booking another overseas journey, this time to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
“You Gotta Be There” when Canada’s top 16 teams – eight women’s and eight men’s – battle for Olympic glory at the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. Reserve your seats today by clicking here.