Jennifer Jones (curler)
Jones in 2008
July 7, 1974 |
|Curling club||St. Vital CC,
|Hearts appearances||10 (2002, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
|Top CCA ranking||1st (2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12)|
|Grand Slam victories||9: Autumn Gold: 2 (2007, 2009); Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries: 1 (2013); Wayden Transportation: 1 (2008); Players' Championships: 3 (2007, 2009, 2011); Sobeys Slam: 1 (2010); Colonial Square: 1 (2013)|
Jennifer Jones (born July 7, 1974) is a Canadian curler. She won an Olympic gold medal as skip of the Canadian team at the 2014 Sochi Games. She is the first female skip to go through the Games undefeated. The only male skip to achieve this is fellow Canadian Kevin Martin in 2010. Jones and her squad are the first Manitoba based curling team to win an Olympic gold medal. She is the 2008 World Champion, and as of 2014, is the last Canadian women's team to do so. Jones has won the national championship four times, most recently during the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. To go along with her national championships, Jones has also won the Manitoba provincial championships nine times.
Jones began curling at the age of 11. As a junior curler, Jones won three provincial junior championships and a national junior championship. Her first provincial junior title was in 1991, playing third for Jill Staub (Thurston). The team also included Kristie Moroz at second and Kelly Scott (then Mackenzie) at lead. The team represented Manitoba at the 1991 Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Leduc, Alberta. The team finished the round-robin in first place, with a 10–1 record. This gave the team a bye to the final, where they lost in the final to New Brunswick, skipped by Heather Smith. Jones won her second provincial junior title in 1993 as a skip. Her team consisted of Trisha Baldwin at third, Jill Officer at second and Dana Malanchuk (Allerton) at lead. The team finished the round robin of the 1993 Canadian Juniors with an 8–3 record, tied for third with Nova Scotia and Quebec. The team played Quebec (skipped by Janique Berthelot) in their tie-breaker match, but lost, eliminating them from the tournament. The following year, the team won their second straight provincial junior title. At the 1994 Canadian Juniors, the team once again found themselves in a three-way tie for third, this time with Ontario and Northern Ontario, and with a 7–4 record. In their first tie-breaker, they defeated Northern Ontario's Rohonda Halvorsen 10–4. They then defeated Ontario's Dominique Lascelles 10–8 in the second tie-breaker. This put the team into the semi-final, against British Columbia's Jeanna Richard (Schraeder), whom they beat 5–3. The win put them in the final, against the first place Saskatchewan rink, skipped by Sherry Linton. The team beat Saskatchewan 8–5, claiming the 1994 Canadian Junior title. Ordinarily this would mean a berth in the following year's World Junior Curling Championships, but a change in the ruling forced her to play in a playoff the following year for the right to attend, which she lost- to her former teammate Kelly Scott.
Early women's career
After juniors, Jones would later partner up with Karen Porritt, Porritt's twin sister Lynn Fallis-Kurz, and Jones' junior lead, Dana Allerton. The team would lose in the final of the 2001 Manitoba Scott Tournament of Hearts, the provincial women's championship to Karen Young. However, the following year, the Jones rink won the Manitoba Hearts, which earned them the right to represent the province at the 2002 Scott Tournament of Hearts, the Canadian national women's championship. At the 2002 Hearts, she led her Manitoba rink to an 8–3 round robin finish, which placed them in third place. This placement put them in the playoffs, where she lost to Ontario's Sherry Middaugh. The following season, Jones replaced Porritt with Kimberly Keizer at third. The team made it to the final of the 2003 Manitoba Scott Tournament of Hearts, but lost to Barb Spencer in the final. The following season, Porritt was brought back on to the team, replacing Keizer. The team had less success at the 2004 Manitoba Scott Tournament of Hearts, losing in the quarter final to Joelle Duguid.
2005 and "The Shot"
Jones would return to the Scott at the 2005 Scott Tournament of Hearts, which she won by defeating Team Ontario, skipped by Jenn Hanna in the championship game. Jones faced an extremely difficult shot to win, having to hit a rock outside of the house and roll to the button taking out an Ontario rock. Had she missed, she would have lost both the game and the tournament. The shot was perfect, scoring 4 points with her final stone and winning the game. Revered by Canadian sports media and admiring curling fans, Jones' accomplishment under pressure was quickly dubbed "The Shot", and, in the following weeks, became the source of talk and of attempts by novice curlers to repeat the feat in curling clubs across the country. The team's win qualified them for the 2005 World Women's Curling Championship in Paisley, Scotland. The Worlds were a disappointing tournament for her and her team, where they struggled constantly with poor ice conditions. They were knocked out of the playoffs in the 3–4 game against Dordi Nordby and her Norway rink.
In the off-season, Jones replaced Gauthier at lead with 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Georgina Wheatcroft. This was done in part to boost the team's chances at the Olympic trials in December 2005. However, the team finished a disappointing 5–4 and out of the playoffs.
Because Jones had won the 2005 Scott Tournament of Hearts, she got to return to the 2006 Scott Tournament of Hearts as Team Canada. At the Hearts that year, she managed to defeat Colleen Jones's Nova Scotia rink in the semi-final before losing to Kelly Scott of British Columbia in the final.
In 2006, Wheatcroft moved back to her home of British Columbia to play with her former skip, Kelley Law. She was replaced by Dana Allerton. Midway through the season however, she was dropped in favour of Janet Arnott just before the provincial playdowns. Jones was criticized within the curling community for this move.
Jones won another provincial championship in 2007, earning her a berth at the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Jones made the playoffs again, but lost to Kelly Scott again- this time in the semi-final.
After a bittersweet 2009/2010 curling season in which Jennifer Jones' rink won the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, took bronze in the 2010 Ford World Women's Curling Championship, and lost out in the 2010 Players' Championships, the team decided to replace third Cathy Overton-Clapham, replacing her with the younger Kaitlyn Lawes in time for the 2010/2011 curling season. Clapham said in a recent interview that she was blindsided by the team and the team could not look in her eyes to tell her so she knew something similar to this was being stirred up.
World Championship success
In the 2007/2008 curling season Jones celebrated several successes including winning the 2007 Autumn Gold Grand Slam as well as the 2008 Manitoba Provincial Championship.
Winning the 2008 Manitoba Provincial Championship qualified her to represent the province at the 2008 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Regina, Saskatchewan. Jones got off to a slow start, having just a 3–4 record to start off the week, but rebounded to make it to the tiebreaker where she defeated Newfoundland and Labrador's Heather Strong by a score of 6–3.
In the 3–4 playoff game, Jones edged Québec skip Marie-France Larouche with a score of 6–5. She advanced to the semi-finals, where she defeated Ontario's Sherry Middaugh 9–8 by stealing a point in the extra end. In the final, Jones faced Alberta's Shannon Kleibrink.
With Jones leading 5–4 without hammer, Kleibrink managed to fill the house, but an excellent draw to the four foot behind cover by Jones forced Kleibrink to try a tricky runback of a Manitoba stone just outside the 12 foot to win. The raised stone jammed on Jones' last draw and Manitoba managed to steal a single point for the 6–4 victory.
At the 2008 World Women's Curling Championship in Vernon, British Columbia, Jones defeated China to capture her first World Championship by a score of 7–4. Jones finished the week with an overall record of 11–3.
In 2009, Jennifer Jones and her Team Canada went on and won gold at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. They defeated the BC team 8–5 with a big 2 point steal in the 6th end. The win at the Scotties sent the Jones rink back to the World Championship. But as in 2005, the outcome was disappointing. Jones was defeated in the bronze medal game by Angelina Jensen from Denmark. She ended the season by winning her third Players' Championship.
Jennifer Jones and team again returned to the Scotties as defending champions, Team Canada. In round robin play the team managed to finish tied for first but second overall to upstart PEI with an 8–3 record. The page 1 vs 2 playoff featured PEI facing Jennifer Jones which saw Jones winning and through to the final. PEI would go on to beat Ontario in the semifinal to force a rematch of the 1 vs 2 page playoff. PEI jumped out to a 6–3 by the 6th end, but steals of one in the 7th, 8th, and a steal of two in the 9th saw Team Canada up by one point going into the tenth and final end. PEI would take one point in the 10th, forcing an 11th and final end which Jones won, completing another Scotties comeback, and secured her 3rd consecutive Tournament of Hearts victory and 4th STOH victory in total.
Jones third win in a row put her in the elite company of Vera Pezer and Colleen Jones (no relation to Jennifer) as the only skips to have won 3 Tournament of Hearts in a row. As this was also her 4th win in total she and second Jill Officer became part of a group of 4 to have won 4 Scotties, they joined Vera Pezer and Lee Morrison of Saskatoon. The win was Cathy Overton-Clapham's 5th in total this moved her one off Colleen Jones in the record book and alongside the legendary Joyce McKee of Saskatchewan and Nova Scotians Mary Anne Arsenault, Nancy Delahunt and Kim Kelly.
At the 2010 Ford World Women's Curling Championship, Jones would disappoint once again. After finishing the round robin with a 10–1 record, she lost all her playoff games, except the bronze medal final against Sweden. With that bronze, Jones claimed her second world championship medal in four tries.
Jones competed at the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials where she managed to qualify as the top seed through the round robin play which meant the team went directly to the finals. There she defeated Sherry Middaugh ten to four and won the right to represent Canada at the Olympics for the first time. She skipped the Canadian women's team at the 2014 Winter Olympics to a Gold medal. Jones is the first ever female skip in Olympic history to be undefeated throughout the tournament. The only male skip to achieve it being fellow Canadian Kevin Martin in 2010. After the win she said that "We're Olympic gold medallists. It's something that you dream of for your entire life. It's what every athlete wants to do and we did it today. And we did it in a way where we played so consistent all week. On the biggest stage for sport, we came out and played our best. And I'm so so proud of us."
Jones, a lawyer, is a corporate counsel for National Bank Financial and a Windsor Park Collegiate graduate. She also attended the University of Manitoba. Jones is in a relationship with fellow curler Brent Laing. Jones gave birth to her first child, Isabella Laing in November 2012. Jones was previously married to Scott Labonte.
Grand Slam record
Jones has won a career nine Grand Slam victories, more than any other female skip. She has won five different Slams, two of which are defunct, and has yet to win one of the two new Slams added in 2012.
|F||Lost in Final|
|SF||Lost in Semifinal|
|QF||Lost in Quarterfinals|
|R16||Lost in the round of 16|
|Q||Did not advance to playoffs|
|DNP||Did not participate in event|
|N/A||Not a Grand Slam event that season|
|Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries||F||F||QF||F||QF||QF||DNP||C|
Note: Jones did not play at the beginning of the 2012–13 season due to her pregnancy. She returned to the team in January, in time for that year's Players' slam.
- ^ Jones was on maternity leave for the beginning of the 2012–13 curling season, and returned to her team in January 2013.
- Curling Scoops Canada takes the gold
- Brad Norman (March 30, 2009). "China Makes History". Curling Scoops. Retrieved 8 February 2010.
- "Scotties title helps put trying Olympic trials to bed". Winnipeg Sun. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Jones foursome on top again". Winnipeg Free Press. 7 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Larry Wood (7 February 2010). "Team Canada wins the 2010 Scotties". Heart Chart. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Fitz-Gerald, Sean (February 22, 2013). "Jennifer Jones soars into elite company with undefeated record, 100th Scotties victory". National Post. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
- Neil Davidson (February 20, 2014). "Winnipeg skip Jennifer Jones is perfect en route to Olympic curling gold". Winnipeg Free Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jennifer Jones (curler).|
- Jennifer Jones on the World Curling Federation database
- Jennifer Jones on the World Curling Tour database
- Team Jennifer Jones
- Olympic profile