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A different kind of Olympic bidding

Curlers selling jerseys to help kin get to Sochi

Posted: 12/30/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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Members of the Jennifer Jones curling team competing in Sochi are auctioning signed jerseys from the Olympic trials to help cover the travel costs of their families. Devlin Hinchey said he’ll be in Russia to root for his wife, second Jill Officer, regardless of the cost.

JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Members of the Jennifer Jones curling team competing in Sochi are auctioning signed jerseys from the Olympic trials to help cover the travel costs of their families. Devlin Hinchey said he’ll be in Russia to root for his wife, second Jill Officer, regardless of the cost. Photo Store

They'll give up just about anything to get their family members to the Olympics -- even the jerseys off their backs.

The four members of the Jennifer Jones women's curling team -- who will wear Canada's colours in Sochi, Russia in early 2014 -- have come up with a creative game plan to raise money to cover some of the sky-high travel costs for their moms, dads and partners who want to join them at the Winter Olympics.

Autographed jerseys worn by skip Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen during the recent Canadian Olympic Curling Trials in Winnipeg are being auctioned off on eBay.

The jerseys will be sold individually, along with autographed team photos and cards, over the next four weeks.

"I know that we have 12 people that are coming that hemmed and hawed for a period of the time because of the costs," said Officer.

"It costs probably over $10,000 a person with tickets and airfare and all the other expenses that seem to come up... but it's not very often that they get to see one of their family members play in the Olympics."

Officer's husband, Devlin Hinchey, is posting the signed jerseys online. McEwen's jersey was the first posted on Sunday at 1 p.m., with a starting bid of $25. After six hours, the price had climbed to $99 -- with nine days remaining in the auction.

Hinchey said it would mean everything to him to see his wife play in Sochi, and he'll join her at the Olympics regardless of the costs.

"It would be hard to describe just seeing all the hard work that she's put in over the years culminating in performing at the highest level at the Olympics," Hinchey said.

The St. Vital Curling Club will host an official sendoff for Team Jones on Jan. 13 from 7-10 p.m. at the St. Boniface Golf Course, with proceeds from the event also going toward the travel fund.

For ticket information, visit www.teamjenniferjones.com or the Jones team's Facebook page.

jessica.botelho-urbanski@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 30, 2013 A10

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