Hundreds of Winnipeggers welcomed home Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Jones Monday night at the airport.
Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen and alternative Kirsten Wall all landed at Winnipeg’s airport with their gold medals in tow, following their big win at the Sochi Olympic games.
Jones and her St. Vital-based rink won gold after defeating Team Sweden 6-3.
On Saturday, the team was presented with their gold medals after they went undefeated with a record of 11-0.
By 9 p.m., the airport was packed with more hundreds of raucous friends, family and fans eager to congratulate the team on their win by 9 p.m. Many held signs and Canadian flags. Even Mayor Sam Katz was there, holding bags of goodies for the team when they arrived.
'We’re going to try and enjoy the moment because it really is super special for us' - Jennifer Jones, after arriving in Winnipeg Monday night
Mounties in full uniform were also on hand, and a giant red carpet was laid out for the team. Bagpipers played as the women came down the escalator to screaming, cheering fans.
Shortly after the arrived, the crowd burst into a rendition of O Canada, during which Jones hugged her mom and showed her her medal.
An overwhelmed Jones was surrounded by reporters soon after.
“It was absolutely incredible,” she said of their victory. “To bring this gold medal home to Winnipeg feels pretty good, I’m not going to lie.”
Jones said she was thrilled to be from the River City.
“Winnipeg is the best place in the world even though it’s -30 something outside,” she said.
As for what’s next, Jones said the whole team is going to get some rest.
“Try to get some sleep – see my baby girl, who I miss,” said Jones, tearing up. “We haven’t slept a lot, so I think sleep will be our priority.”
When asked about endorsement deals, Jones said she hasn’t even had a chance to check her email.
“I haven’t even turned on my email. My email wasn’t even accessible over there. I thought I’d wait until tomorrow. One more day,” she said. “We’re going to try and enjoy the moment because it really is super special for us.”
Young curlers inspired
Twins Arah and Taylor Davies were excitedly waiting for Jones and her team to arrive. They said they turned up “just because they’re great people, and we curl, and they curl, and we want to curl with them one day, maybe.”
Student Carlen Comegan shared those sentiments. “I was in the middle of class, and when they won, I just went crazy! I was so excited, and I couldn’t contain it!”