new Jones in the house
The name above the Canadian Maple Leaf is familiar.
But the woman skipping Team Canada's foursome at the women's world
curling championships in Paisley, Scotland, is new.
Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones works as a corporate lawyer when she'
s not curling.
Meet Jennifer Jones. That's right. Jennifer. Not Colleen.
The 30-year-old Manitoba skip and her foursome from the St. Vital Curling Club in Winnipeg are the new Canadian champions, which means for the first time since 2000, a team other than Colleen Jones's Halifax rink is representing Canada at the worlds.
Jennifer Jones, along with Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead
Cathy Gauthier, made quite a name for themselves after a sensational performance in February's Tournament of Hearts in St. John's, Nfld.
It was on the Rock that Jones went from a relative unknown to curling queen with the throw of one stone.
Despite battling a cold and an ear infection all week, Jones went 9-2 during the round robin before capturing the Canadian title with a clutch shot to score four in the 10th end to defeat Ontario's Jenn Hanna 8-6 for the national crown.
Jones's winning shot – a hit and roll off an Ontario stone on the outside edge of the rings, which ricocheted to knock Hanna's shot rock off the button – was seen on every sports highlight reel and talked about at water coolers across the country.
The dynamic shot was even compared to the one late curling legend Sandra Schmirler pulled off in her victory at the Canadian trials for the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
Of course, for hardcore curling enthusiasts, Jones's spectacular performance at the 2005 Tournament of Hearts was no surprise at all she has been climbing the curling ranks for years.
She was a three-time Manitoba provincial junior champion and in 1994, along with current second Jill Officer, captured the Canadian junior title.
At the time, the Canadian Curling Association's policy was to send the previous year's champion to the worlds, so the Jones foursome would have to wait a year for their turn. Only it never came.
In 1995, the CCA reversed its rule and decided to send the current year's winner. Jones's rink was given an opportunity to earn the world junior berth with a semifinal match against Winnipeg's Kelly McKenize (now Kelly Scott). Jones lost, leaving the foursome heartbroken and disillusioned.
Since then, Jones has tried to fight her way back to the top of the curling ladder. In 2002, she won the provincial title and played in her first Tournament of Hearts, finishing the round robin in a three-way tie for second place at 8-3.
Jones lost in the playoffs to Ontario's Sherry Middaugh, but the experience made her realize she belonged.
Ten months before this year's Tournament of Hearts, Jones and Officer added Overton-Clapham and Gauthier to their squad in the quest for a Canadian title.
The chemistry was instant and the result was a national championship and a chance to win a world crown.
The Jones foursome won't be done after Paisley, Scotland. They'll have almost nine months to prepare for the Olympic curling trials in Halifax.
July 7, 1974 in Winnipeg
Job: Corporate lawyer
1991, 1993, 1994 Manitoba junior champion; 1994 Canadian junior champions; 2002, 2005 Manitoba women's champion; 2005 Canadian women's champion
Capturing the 2005 Tournament of Hearts in dramatic fashion. Trailing 6-4 to Ontario's Jenn Hanna in the 10th end, Jones threw an in-off an Ontario stone on the edge of the rings, which removed Hanna's shot rock at the button to score four and win the title.
Jones's father Larry coaches the team.