Canadian Jennifer Jones makes Olympic history with unbeaten run
SOCHI, Russia — Jennifer Jones’ Olympic experience has been, well, perfect.
“It’s been everything we expected and then some,” the Winnipeg skip said. “It’s blown my dreams out of the water.”
The Canadians defeated South Korea 9-4 Monday for their ninth win in a row, becoming the first women’s team to go through an Olympic round-robin without a loss.
“Just to be at the Olympics is amazing,” said Jones, whose rink includes lead Dawn McEwen, second Jill Officer and third Kaitlyn Lawes.
at the end of the day we want to be on the podium so that’s definitely the goal.”
Canada’s Kevin Martin, in 2010 in Vancouver, is the only other curler to go through the preliminary round undefeated.
Canada will face Britain (5-4) in a semifinal match Wednesday while Sweden (7-2) takes on Switzerland (5-4).
“Now you start fresh,” said Jones. “And everyone’s on an even record.”
Canada beat the Brits 9-6 during the round-robin.
While Jones has won plenty of trophies, she has had to wait a long time to experience the Olympics.
She failed to secure an Olympic berth in both 2006 and 2010. Shannon Kleibrink won bronze in 2006 in Turin while Cheryl Bernard earned silver four years ago in Vancouver.
Canada has not won a women’s curling gold at the Games since the late Sandra Schmirler did it in 1998 in Nagano.
So far, so good for Jones in her Olympic debut.
“We’ve been very consistent,” she said. “We’ve had a couple of games where we weren’t as sharp but still consistent and making the big shots when we have to.”
On Monday, Jones and her teammates were all smiles on the ice. Mistakes were quickly forgiven.
“We were having fun,” said Jones, a four-time Canadian champion and 2008 world champion. “That’s the one thing that we came into these Olympics (with), we wanted to make sure that we enjoyed it. We’ve waited a whole lifetime it feels like to get here and we’ve had a lot of attempts and we’ve failed to make the Olympics so we wanted to enjoy it.
“And this was our last round-robin game, so we just enjoyed it. We soaked it up and it’s a moment we will never forget.”
Jones’s cheering section here includes partner Brent Laing, a two-time Brier and world champion with skip Glenn Howard. But daughter Isabella, just 15 months, is back home.
“It was too long of a travel,” Jones said. “She’s with grandma and I Skype her every day and I just got a beautiful collage of pictures. She was holding a sign so it made my day.”
South Korean skip Kim Jisun, who throws second, finished at 3-6.