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Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jones team eager to prep for Roar of the Rings

Posted: 11/27/2013 11:53 AM | Comments: 0

Last Modified: 11/27/2013 12:03 PM | Updates

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The good news for Jennifer Jones is her road to the Winter Olympics will only get easier -- and less icy -- from here.

The Winnipeg skip was close to an hour late for her own news conference Wednesday morning, the victim of the same snow and ice-covered roads that had thousands of Winnipeggers late for work this morning.

Jones figured it took her almost two hours this morning to get from her home near the Mint to the Granite Curling Club, where her team held a news conference this morning to discuss their preparations for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, which begins Sunday at MTS Centre.

"That's usually like a 10-minute drive," said Jones. "I was planning on being early, stopping for coffee and getting in a little practice before everyone else arrived. I feel really bad."

The Jones foursome has been anointed by online bookmakers as the 3-1 co-favourites, alongside reigning Canadian women's champions Rachel Homan of Ottawa, to win the Roar, which will determine Canada's men's and women's curling representatives in Sochi.

Longtime Jones second Jill Officer told reporters that she's feeling some butterflies in the days leading up to the event -- and she wouldn't have it any other way.

"A little bit nervous, but I think it's a good thing. My dad always said, if you're not nervous, you're not ready."

Jones third Kaitlyn Lawes, who will be competing in her first Trials next week, said she's more excited than nervous. "I can't believe it's finally here," said Lawes. "To be able to play in Winnipeg in front of our hometown crowd and our friends and family, that is pretty exciting and it's not something many curlers get the opportunity (to do). We're really excited and feeling great going into the Trials."

While they're playing at home in Winnipeg, the Jones foursome -- like fellow Manitoba-based Trials teams Chelsea Carey, Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen -- will check into a downtown hotel later this week and stay there for the duration of the event in a bid to minimize any outside distractions and put themselves on the same footing as the 12 teams competing at the Roar from out of province.

While the curling ice at the MTS Centre has now been installed, the teams won't get a chance to see it until Friday night when they get their first practice sessions.

History

Updated on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM CST: adds video

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