Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 02/15/2014 11:43 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 02/15/2014 1:28 PM | Updates
SOCHI, Russia — Jennifer Jones is two wins away from an Olympic gold medal.
Jones has two remaining round robin games to go, but has already claimed a berth in the semifinals. A win in the semis and the Winnipeg native will play for gold.
Jones’s Team Canada includes Jill Officer and Kaitlyn Lawes, who were both born in Winnipeg, and Dawn McEwen who moved to the city to pursue her curling dreams.
The thought of going for gold wasn’t the least bit scary for Jones after running her record to 7-0 on Saturday with a win over Russia.
"Stop it. You’re giving me goosebumps," said Jones, when asked if the promise of now playing for the hugest of stakes was nerve-racking. "It’s not scary at all. It’s what we came here for. We’re having the greatest time of our lives. Look, we want to win. If we don’t it won’t be the end of the world. I’ll still have my family and Isabella (daughter). It’s sport, anything can happen, but we came here with a goal of getting to the semis and we’ve reached it. Now we know we’re almost on the podium."
Jones defeated Russia 5-3 on Saturday to run her record to a perfect 7-0 and claim top spot in the standings.
Jones will have top seed in the semifinals and play the fourth seed. A win in the semifinal would guarantee Jones a silver medal at worst. A loss and she would still have a chance to play for bronze.
Canada has two more round robin games to complete: they play the U.S. on Sunday and Korea on Monday.
The semifinals will be played Wednesday and the medal games on Thursday.
Officer has curled with Jones since they were teenagers. While Jones had a look of joy on her face, Officer and the rest of the team walked off the ice and through the mixed zone with determined stares. The party line might be that a medal of any colour will be satisfying, but the attitude projected on Saturday left the impression these girls came for gold and they know they’re close.
"We knew we had to get better and improve on the last few games. We were playing against the hometown team, so we had to be sharp and on it, and it went our way," said Officer after claiming a win in front of a raucous pro-Russia audience. "When we got the three in the third and then the two in the fifth, we were somewhat comfortable, but we knew we couldn’t take it for granted and we just had to stay sharp and throwing the stones good."
Officer said she and her teammates weren’t aware they’d qualified for the semis until they stepped off the ice.
"We are just trying to stay focused on our process and make sure we are throwing them good and the right weight. If we stay focused on that, then things will work out for us, and they have so far," she said. "We have pulled out some Ws. There have been a few games and times where we’ve had to persevere, fight through and be patient."
Jones started the week wearing eye-shadow that was gold in colour, but switched to a different shade on Saturday. She says she’s going back to the colour she’s chasing.
"I don’t know the name of it. You’re asking a girl who knows nothing about makeup, but it has a golden hue to it, and I’m going to wear it the rest of the way," she said.
She might even get to wear some golden jewelry. Olympic style.
Updated on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 1:28 PM CST: full writethru
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Mayes, Browaty: questions remain on convention centre mess
Warming huts from The Forks headed to Winter Design Festival in Ottawa
Speedway International fined after its plant was destroyed by blaze in St. Boniface
New application ready for UNESCO recognition for boreal forest
ISIL praises October slaying of soldier in Ottawa
Are feds about to act on unpaid interns?
Documentary on Death From Above's rise, fall and return to play at Cinematheque
Storm threatens the Northeast with historic snow
Canada finds first case of H7N9 bird flu
Mourners gather for funeral of slain Alberta Mountie
What Canadian teams must do to make playoffs
True North adding new seating as part of improvement plan
Man going to jail for giving deadly morphine dosage
Watch: Linden MacIntyre speaks about issues at the CBC and his new novel
Spain: 10 dead, 13 hurt in crash of Greek F-16 jet at base
Cineplex to launch new entertainment complex
Winnipegger cashes in $1-M lotto ticket
Vets jobs bill flawed: military ombudsman
Allard wants better whistleblower protection for city staff
Dalhousie student will take part in hearing
Nutrition North program set for overhaul?
Committee wants legal details of opening up Portage & Main
Winnipeg Cheapskate: All-Inclusive vacation the best deal?
Revised UNESCO bid for boreal forest
Lessons from 9/11 still need learning
Nationwide warrant for Thompson man's arrest
Mix-up of Titanic proportions
Coyotes star had emergency surgery at HSC
Rally being held for Ukrainian pilot being held as POW
New infill condos going up
Rising rent imperils daycares
Shake it off
Success, to the power of 7
Racism is Manitoba's 'shame,' Oswald declares
The limits of blasphemy
Remote voting for NDP race
Warm today; freezing rain makes for difficult driving
Toll of Filipino commandos killed in rebel clash rises to 43
2 suspected looters killed in South Africa
Syrian president dismisses talks with 'puppets' in interview