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Team Jacobs takes gold medal in curling

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Canada's skip Brad Jacobs delivers arock during the men's curling gold medal game against Britain at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday in Sochi, Russia.

ROBERT F. BUKATY Enlarge Image

Canada's skip Brad Jacobs delivers arock during the men's curling gold medal game against Britain at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday in Sochi, Russia.

SOCHI, Russia - Make it six gold medals making the trip back to Manitoba as Ryan Fry had a rush of his own today.

Winnipeg’s Fry, third for Brad Jacobs and Team Canada, added to Canada and this province’s medal haul with an 9-3 spanking of Great Britain for the gold medal in mens curling.

Canada won gold in womens curling on Thursday to send four gold medals Manitoba’s way in the pockets of Jennifer Jones, Jill Officer, Kaitlyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen. Late Thursday night it was Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne’s turn as she won gold in hockey for Team Canada. Fry makes it six with Winnipeg’s Jonathan Toews still in the running in hockey for Team Canada.

Fry, the son of curling Hall of Famer and 1979 Brier winner Barry Fry, said leaving Winnipeg to join the Jacobs quartet wasn't easy.

To say things worked out would be a colossal understatement.

"It’s 100 per cent worth it," Fry said. "It was worth it before we won this. I’m a curler. That’s what I am. I love to compete and I’ve had the opportunity to play with some great players. But this time I’ve gotten to play with a great team.

"I couldn’t be happier with the way my life has led to this and I couldn’t be happier having these guys to go to battle with."

He and Jacobs, along with front-end brushing brothers E.J. and Ryan Harnden, were brilliant this day hitting almost every shot and pushing the scoring pace with a deuce in the first end, three in the third and then a steal in the fourth to put the Brits on their backs for good.

After going 1-2 to start the Olympics, Jacobs and Co. got hot and reeled off eight straight wins to grab the gold.

"This was a huge grind. It's pretty hard, I'll be honest," said a relieved Jacobs after the game. "We kind of let that get to us. It's hard to wear that maple leaf."

The victory came just a day after Great Britain's coach, Swedish-born Soren Gran, said he disapproved of the demonstrative nature of Team Jacobs.

He said "the aggressive style" was something he didn't appreciate in sports.

"I was a little shocked," Jacobs said Friday, of Gran’s comments. "I don’t know what his thinking was saying it publicly, because it only gave us motivation.

"I believe in karma."

Team Jacobs won the Brier in 2013 and silver at the World Championships in the same year. They were perfect at the Olympic Trials going 8-0 to secure the right to represent Canada.

Jacobs said he and his teammates felt the weight of Canadians' expectations.

"It's pretty hard, I will be honest with you," he said. "But we threw all that out of the window when we started with two points in the first end. It's tough to carry that weight on your shoulders. I am relieved."

For the Harnden brothers, sharing the victory was a dream.

"We actually were pretty quiet, but we both did say 'I love you, you did a great job'," E.J. said, describing the brothers' celebratory embrace.

Canada has had tremendous success in Olympic men's curling.

Mike Harris won silver for Canada in 1998, Kevin Martin won silver in 2002, Brad Gushue took gold in 2006 and Martin won gold in 2010.

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @garylawless

History

Updated on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:04 AM CST: Adds quotes.

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