Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't forget Fry when counting Olympians

Homegrown Manitoban overshadowed by Jones

  • Print

LAS VEGAS -- It's easy to forget Jennifer Jones and her team aren't the only Winnipeggers who will be representing Canada in curling at next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Lost amid all the attention being heaped on the women is that tucked away in the third position of Brad Jacobs' Sochi-bound foursome is Ryan Fry, who is every bit as homegrown Manitoban as anyone on the Jones team -- and, in the case of Jones lead and Ottawa native Dawn McEwen, even more so.

Like Jones, her second Jill Officer and third Kaitlyn Lawes, Fry is also a two-time Manitoba junior champion. And he's also got a deep Manitoba curling pedigree as the son of Winnipeg curling legend Barry Fry, who won the 1979 Brier.

But the difference is Fry's Olympic ticket was punched on a Jacobs team based out of Sault Ste. Marie, where Fry has lived since 2012 as part of his five-year cross-Canada search to find the national curling success that eluded him when he curled out of Manitoba.

With a 2013 Brier title and now a berth in the Winter Olympics under his belt, Fry found success in The Soo beyond his wildest dreams, with the best hopefully yet to come in Sochi. "You know," Fry mused the other day at the Continental Cup, where he and the rest of the Jacobs team are representing North America, "it's pretty rare that something happens in curling that can actually change your life.

"But this has for sure changed my life -- money, opportunities, I even met my girlfriend at the worlds last year. You know how it is in curling -- usually you're scrapping for your life just to make $5 grand. But what we've done the last year -- it's completely changed everything for me."

Little was expected of the Jacobs foursome when they represented Northern Ontario at the Brier last year. But they stunned everyone in beating Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton -- Fry's old skip -- in the 2013 final and then proved it was no fluke by going undefeated through the Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre last month to earn the right to represent Canada in Sochi.

They have thrived, in other words, in the role of underdog. But can you still be an underdog when you're representing Canada at the Winter Olympics, an event in which Canadian men have never failed to win at least silver and have won the last two gold?

Fry says it's business as usual for his squad -- head down, blinkers on, task at hand.

"We want to be known as one of the best teams in the world and so that motivates us. We put more time in the gym, we put in more time in practice and we work on a certain part of our game, which is the hitting part.

"And we've gotten to a point where it's tough for other teams to score points against our team, just because we have three really proficient hitters in a row. That's always been my game, so it's fun for me. And Brad's done really well at figuring out a way to call a game around it. And now we've found our own little niche and it's fun.

"Are we still an underdog heading into the Olympics? I don't know. But if we are, I'd rather be an underdog than a favourite anyway. That's always easier I think."

Still got to be nerve-wracking though, Fry was asked, knowing what happens in Sochi could forever determine the first two words of his obituary: "Olympic medallist...

"I can't say we're too nervous," said Fry. "Our team is pretty light as it is. We know what our job is and our job is to get to the playoffs through the round-robin, preferably with hammer in that semifinal game. And if we can do that, well then we'll go from there."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 20, 2014 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

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.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Your top TV picks for Dec. 1-4

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A monarch butterfly looks for nectar in Mexican sunflowers at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Monday afternoon-Monarch butterflys start their annual migration usually in late August with the first sign of frost- Standup photo– August 22, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google