Jennifer Jones's rink staying together through 2018
Winnipeg skip says coach Arnott stepping aside
Jennifer Jones is hoping her Canadian rink has the chance to travel to Pyeongchang, South Korea in four years to defend their Olympic curling title.
The Winnipeg skip on Tuesday confirmed that third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen will remain together for the next four years. No Canadian curling team has repeated as Olympic gold medallists.
The desire to get to another [Olympics] will make us work even harder for the next four years.- Canadian skip Jennifer Jones
“We are excited to officially announce that our team is fully committed to staying together and working hard to get another chance to represent Canada at the Olympics,” Jones said in a statement as her team prepares to finish the season at the Grand Slam Players’ Championships, starting Tuesday in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.
“We truly enjoy playing together, and we share the same goals and commitment. The desire to get to another [Olympics] will make us work even harder for the next four years.”
Jones defeated Sweden's Margaretha Sigfridsson 6-3 in the women's curling gold-medal final, capping off an undefeated Olympic run of 11 straight victories.
It was the first time a team had gone unbeaten in the Olympic tournament and was also Canada's first gold medal in women's curling since the late Sandra Schmirler won in Nagano in 1998.
The win also capped off a tumultuous year-and-a-half for Jones, which saw the skip undergo knee surgery and give birth to her daughter.
"When I hurt my knee I wasn't sure if I'd ever play again, and now we're gold medallists," Jones told CBC at the Sochi Winter Games. "The girls stuck with me and I had the best doctors and physio team and couldn't have had a better recovery.
"And then there’s Isabella, who’s the love of my life, and life couldn't get any better.”
Team Jones also confirmed it will participate at the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling from Dec. 3-7 in Camrose, Alta., and the 2015 World Financial Group Continental Cup in Calgary.
As well, Jones and company will be at the Manitoba playdowns in hopes of advancing to the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts slated for Feb. 14-22 in Moose Jaw, Sask.
But coach Janet Arnott won’t be tow as she has decided to devote more time to friends and family.
“We can’t thank Janet, our friends, family, support team and our amazing sponsors enough for helping us achieve our dreams,” said Jones.
A number of Canadian men's teams have made lineup changes in recent weeks.
Brier champion Kevin Koe is leaving his team to start a new one and former two-time world champion skip Jeff Stoughton's team from Winnipeg is breaking up.
Kevin Martin is undecided on his playing future and Glenn Howard is expected to announce a replacement for Brent Laing, who will be joining Koe's new team along with Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert.
Team Brad Jacobs won the men's gold in Sochi and plans to stay intact for the next quadrennial.
With files from Justin Piercy, CBCSports.ca