John Morris (curler)

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John Morris
Curler
John Morris, Olympic Gold Medalist.JPG
Born (1978-12-16) December 16, 1978 (age 39)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Team
Curling club The Glencoe Club,
Calgary, Alberta[1]
Skip John Morris
Fourth Jim Cotter
Second Catlin Schneider
Lead Tyrel Griffith
Alternate Rick Sawatsky
Career
Brier appearances 10 (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
World Championship
appearances
3 (2008, 2009, 2015)
Olympic
appearances
2 (2010, 2018)
Top CTRS ranking 1st (2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11)
Grand Slam victories 11: The National (Mar 2007, Dec 2007, Dec. 2010); Players (2004, 2007, 2010, 2011); Canadian Open (Jan 2007, Dec 2007, 2010); Elite 10 (2017)

John Morris (born December 16, 1978; nicknamed "Johnny Mo") is a Canadian curler, and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Morris played third for the Kevin Martin[2] team until April 24, 2013. Morris, author of the book Fit to Curl,[3] is the son of Maureen and Earle Morris, inventor of the "Stabilizer" curling broom. Morris grew up in Gloucester, Ontario[4] (now part of Ottawa) and at the age of five began curling at the Navy Curling Club.

Career[edit]

Junior career[edit]

Morris' 1998 and 1999 World Junior Championship banners at the Ottawa Curling Club

As a junior curler, Morris skipped his Ottawa Curling Club rink to three-straight Ontario provincial junior Men's titles from 1997 to 1999,[5] and won the 1998 and 1999 Canadian and World Junior Championships, setting records for most wins by a skip along the way.

Morris and his rink of Craig Savill, Matt St. Louis and Mark Homan would represent Ontario at the 1997 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. His team would finish the round robin with a 7–5 record, in a five-way tie for third place. He would go on to beat British Columbia's T. J. Perepolkin, New Brunswick's Tommy Sullivan in tiebreakers, the Northwest Territories' Jamie Koe in the semifinal before losing to Alberta's Ryan Keane in the final.

The next season, Morris brought in a new front end for his junior team, adding Andy Ormsby and Brent Laing to replace St. Louis and Homan. At the 1998 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, he led his Ontario Team to a 9–3 round robin record, in a 4 way tie for first place. The team beat New Brunswick's Rob Heffernan in a tiebreaker, before beating Manitoba's Mike McEwen in the semifinal and then Alberta's Carter Rycroft in the final. Their win qualified the team to represent Canada at the 1998 World Junior Curling Championships. There, the team would go 9–0 in the round robin, before defeating Switzerland's Ralph Stöckli in the semifinal and Garry MacKay of Scotland in the final to win the gold medal.

For their third championship run, Team Morris replaced Ormsby with Jason Young at second. At the 1999 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, Morris led the team to an 8–4 round robin record, in a three-way tie for second. He again had to fight through a tiebreaker to win the championship, downing Alberta's Jeff Erickson before defeating Newfoundland's Brad Gushue in the semifinal and British Columbia's Jeff Richard in the final. At the 1999 World Junior Curling Championships, he led Canada to an 8–1 round robin record (first place), and beat Sweden's Patric Håkansson in the semifinal and Christian Haller of Switzerland in the final to win the gold medal.[6]

In addition to his provincial junior titles, Morris won a provincial junior mixed title in 1999 with Jacqueline Smith, Brent Laing and Chrissy Cadorin.[7]

Early men's career in Ontario (1999–2003)[edit]

After living in Ottawa, Morris moved to Southwestern Ontario to attend Wilfrid Laurier University, and curled out of the Stayner Granite Club in Stayner, Ontario.[8] Despite the move, his team remained nearly intact, with Young being replaced by Andy Ormsby. In their first season after juniors, the team entered the playdowns for the 2000 Ontario Nokia Cup, the provincial men's championship, but lost in regionals.[9]

In 2000 Ormsby left the team and was replaced by Joe Frans, who would become the team's third, moving Savill to play second. The team won a couple of tour events, and made it to their first provincial championship, the 2001 Ontario Nokia Cup. After finishing the round robin with a 6–3 record, Morris defeated Team Glenn Howard in the semifinal before losing to Team Wayne Middaugh in the final.

The team qualified for the 2001 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where Morris garnered national attention after a difficult loss to Russ Howard. His team would finish the event with a 5–4 record, missing the playoffs. With many of the province's top teams ignoring the Brier playdowns in 2002 to focus on the new Grand Slam of Curling, Morris and his team had an easy path at the 2002 Ontario provincial championships. The team went 8–1 after the round robin, and beat Team Phil Daniel twice to win his first provincial title, qualifying him for the 2002 Nokia Brier. At the diluted Brier, Morris led his rink to an 8–3 round robin record, in second place. In the playoffs, they lost to Alberta's Randy Ferbey in the 1 vs. 2 game, but rebounded to defeat New Brunswick's Russ Howard in the semifinal. In the final, the team lost to Alberta in a rematch.

In 2003, the Morris rink would make it to the finals at the inaugural Canada Cup of Curling, where they lost to Randy Ferbey. The team played in another diluted provincial championship that year, the 2003 Ontario Nokia Cup. There, his rink finished the round robin in 2nd place with a 7–2 record. In the playoffs, they lost to the first place Bryan Cochrane rink and then to Peter Corner in the semifinal. The team finished the season at the 2003 Players' Championship Grand Slam, where they lost to Jeff Stoughton in the final. After the season, Morris moved to Calgary, where he played out of the Calgary Winter Club.

Move to Calgary (2003–2006)[edit]

After moving to Calgary, Morris assembled a new team, which would consist of Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy and Paul Moffatt. The team had some success on the Tour, winning a few events, including the 2004 Players' Championship Grand Slam. The team would play three seasons together, never winning a provincial championship, having to compete against teams like Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin. The team would play in the 2005 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where they would finish the round robin with a 6–3 record, before losing to Jeff Stoughton in the semifinal.

Joining forces with "K-Mart": 2006–2013[edit]

In 2006, Morris, the formerly dubbed "bad-boy of curling" joined forces with veteran skip Kevin Martin[10] on a four-year plan aimed at winning a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics.[11]The team won the 2007 Kia Cup, the provincial championship, defeating Morris' former teammate, Kevin Koe in the final. On February 27, 2007 just four days before the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, Morris was hit by a car. He was knocked unconscious, but went on to compete at the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, where Alberta placed fourth after a loss to Jeff Stoughton in the 3–4 page playoff.[12] Morris later recovered by winning all-star third in the tournament. In their first season together on the tour, the team dominated, winning three of the four Grand Slam events, the Canadian Open, The National and the Players' Championship.

After winning the 2008 Boston Pizza Cup provincial championship, Morris and the Kevin Martin (Alberta) rink returned to the 2008 Brier in Winnipeg. Roughly a week before the Brier, Morris broke his right hand and subsequently had to wear a special brace while sweeping.[13] The event sidelined Morris from playing in the 2008 Canada Cup of Curling, where he was replaced by Kevin Park.[14] At the Brier, the Martin team went 11–0 in the round robin, and won their 1–2 playoff game to make the finals. In a game marred by tricky ice and missed opportunities, Alberta won by a score of 5–4. Morris was named MVP of the finals after curling 90%. At the following 2008 World Men's Curling Championship, Morris led all players with a round robin percentage of 90%, and helped team Canada to a World Championship crown; the first for any player on the team. On the tour that season, the team won two Grand Slams, the Canadian Open and the National.

The next season, the team won the 2009 Boston Pizza Cup and represented Alberta at the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier, where the team won their second straight title. At the 2009 Ford World Men's Curling Championship, the team would lose in the final to Scotland's David Murdoch. Also that season, the team would win the 2009 Canada Cup of Curling.

The team qualified for the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where Morris and Team Martin would win the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. On February 27 at the Vancouver Olympics, Team Martin won the gold medal with a score of 6–3 in the final against Thomas Ulsrud of Norway.[15] On the tour that season, the team would win the 2010 BDO Classic Canadian Open and the 2010 Players' Championship.

Morris represented Alberta at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier with Team Martin after winning the provincials. They finished with a 9–2 win-loss record, but dropped their page playoff game against Ontario's Glenn Howard and lost the bronze medal game against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador. In Grand Slam play, the team would win the December 2010 National and the 2011 Players' Championship.

In the 2011–12 curling season, Morris and the rest of the team won the Canada Cup of Curling over Glenn Howard, giving them a berth into the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. They participated in the 2012 Alberta provincials, but struggled against Kevin Koe and Brock Virtue, eventually losing the semifinal to Virtue.

Team Martin was unable to defend their Canada Cup title in 2012, finishing outside of the playoffs. Morris subbed in as skip for an injured Martin at the Canadian Open of Curling, and played with former teammate Joe Frans, finishing with a 2–3 win-loss record. After Martin recovered, the team went to the 2013 provincials, where a close win over Kevin Koe in the final gave them the right to represent the home team Alberta at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier. The team went to the Players' Championship, where they finished with a 2–2 win-loss record, and they advanced to a tiebreaker, where they lost to John Epping. A few days after the conclusion of the Players' Championship, on 24 April 2013, Morris announced that he and Martin were parting ways.[16] One week later, it was announced that Morris would join Jim Cotter and his team for the 2013–14 season.[17][18]

2013–present[edit]

Morris would find immediate success with the Cotter rink, skipping the team (which also consisted of Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky) out of the Kelowna Curling Club, and throwing third rocks. The team qualified for the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials through the pre-trials event, only to lose in the final to the Brad Jacobs team that would go on to win the Olympic gold medal. Following that the team went undefeated en route to winning the 2014 British Columbia provincial championship and the right to represent the province at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier. This made Morris one of only three curlers to have played for three different provinces at the Brier, joining his father Earle and Ryan Fry.[19] After posting a 9–2 round robin record, Morris' B.C. rink defeated Alberta (skipped by former teammate Kevin Koe) in the 1 vs. 2 game, before losing to Alberta in a rematch final, 10–5.[20]

Rule changes implemented for the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier meant that for the first time defending Brier champions will be afforded an automatic entry in the following year's Brier. For the 2015 Brier this entry would normally have gone to Koe, however, in the 2014 off-season Koe announced he was leaving his team to form a new team. Under CCA rules, this left Koe's former teammates (Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen) with the automatic entry for the 2015 Brier. Koe's former teammates subsequently recruited Morris to skip them, thus ensuring that Morris, despite being the 2014 Brier runner-up, would skip the first-ever Team Canada entry in a Brier.

After Team Canada started off 2–3 Morris approached third Pat Simmons with the idea that Simmons skip and Morris move to vice.[21] The move paid off as the rink went on to win the Canadian championship; they won the bronze (third place) medal at the 2015 world championships in Halifax.

The Brier win in 2015 meant the team would return for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier to represent Team Canada. The team would struggle at the event, missing the playoffs with a 6–5 record. They would disband after the season.

Morris at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa.

In 2016, Morris returned to play with Jim Cotter's British Columbia-based team, skipping the rink, while Cotter threw fourth stones. The team would win the 2017 belairdirect BC Men's Curling Championship, giving the team the right to represent British Columbia at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. There, Morris led the team to a 7–4 record, missing the playoffs. On the tour, the team won one Grand Slam event, the 2017 Elite 10.

The team began the 2017–18 season with Morris throwing last rocks and skipping, and Cotter at third. The team qualified for the 2017 Olympic Pre-Trials, which the team qualified out of despite a 3–3 pool record. This put the team into the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where the team would struggle. The team experimented with Morris throwing third again, but it was to no avail, and the team finished with a 3–5 round robin record.

In 2018 Morris joined up with Kaitlyn Lawes to win the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Olympic Trials to return to the Winter Olympics, this time in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the mixed doubles made its debut. Morris had been playing with Rachel Homan in pre-trials events, but had to find a new partner after Homan became ineligible when her women's team won the right to represent Canada in the Olympic women's event. [22] Morris and Lawes won the gold, defeating Switzerland in the final.

Grand Slam record[edit]

Key
C Champion
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
T2 Played in Tier 2 event
DNP Did not participate in event
N/A Not a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
Tour Challenge N/A DNP QF Q
Masters/World Cup DNP QF Q QF SF QF QF QF QF SF SF DNP Q Q Q Q
The National DNP DNP QF Q C C SF Q C F SF DNP QF QF QF Q
Canadian Open DNP DNP SF F C C F C QF QF DNP Q Q Q SF Q
Elite 10 N/A DNP DNP C DNP
Players' F C Q F C F SF C C SF Q DNP DNP DNP Q DNP
Champions Cup N/A DNP QF Q

Personal life[edit]

Morris, a certified personal trainer, currently serves as a full-time firefighter for Rocky View Fire Services.[23] Drawing on his degree in Kinesiology from Wilfrid Laurier University,[2] in 2009 Morris co-authored the book Fit to Curl, a sport-specific training manual.[24]

In 2010, Morris was featured by ET Canada in a Valentines special as one of Canada's most eligible bachelors.[25]

Morris has been a 'big brother' with Calgary and area BBBS since 2011.[26]

Currently Morris, who also has a passion for cooking, is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and volunteers at the Ronald MacDonald House to cook nutritious meals for families who are staying at the house and are going through difficult times.[citation needed]

Morris is the third generation of his family to compete in the Brier. As well as his father Earle, his great-grandfather Cliff McLachlan skipped Saskatchewan in the 1933 Macdonald Brier.[19]

On March 27th 2018, John and his fiancée Maggie welcomed a baby boy named Jack.[27]

Teams[edit]

From left: Kevin Martin, Morris, Marc Kennedy, Ben Hebert
Season Skip Third Second Lead Events
1996–97 John Morris Craig Savill Matt St. Louis Mark Homan 1997 CJCC
1997–98 John Morris Craig Savill Andy Ormsby Brent Laing 1998 CJC, WJCC
1998–99 John Morris Craig Savill Jason Young Brent Laing 1999 CJCC, WJCC
1999-00 John Morris Craig Savill Andy Ormsby Brent Laing
2000–01 John Morris Joe Frans Craig Savill Brent Laing 2001 Ont.
2001–02 John Morris Joe Frans Craig Savill Brent Laing 2001 COCT, 2002 Ont., Brier
2002–03 John Morris Joe Frans Craig Savill Brent Laing 2003 Ont., CC
2003–04 John Morris Kevin Koe Marc Kennedy Paul Moffatt 2004 Alta., CC
2004–05 John Morris Kevin Koe Marc Kennedy Paul Moffatt 2005 Alta., CC
2005–06 John Morris Kevin Koe Marc Kennedy Paul Moffatt 2005 COCT, 2006 Alta., CC
2006–07 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2007 Alta., CC, Brier
2007–08 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2008 Alta., Brier, WCC
2008–09 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2009 Alta., CC, Brier, WCC
2009–10 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2009 COCT, 2010 OG
2010–11 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2010 CC, 2011 Alta., Brier
2011–12 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2011 CC
2012–13 Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2012 CC, 2013 Alta., Brier
2013–14 Jim Cotter (fourth) John Morris (skip) Tyrel Griffith Rick Sawatsky 2013 RTTR, COCT, 2014 BC, Brier
2014–15 John Morris/Pat Simmons Pat Simmons/John Morris Carter Rycroft
Scott Bailey
Nolan Thiessen 2014 CC, 2015 Brier, WCC
2015–16 Pat Simmons John Morris Carter Rycroft Nolan Thiessen 2015 CC, 2016 Brier
2016–17 Jim Cotter (fourth) John Morris (skip) Tyrel Griffith Rick Sawatsky 2017 BC, Brier
2017–18 Jim Cotter (fourth) / John Morris John Morris (skip) / Jim Cotter Catlin Schneider Tyrel Griffith 2017 RTTR, COCT

Awards[edit]

  • Canadian Junior Men First Team All-star skip: 1998
  • Canadian Junior Men First Team All-star skip: 1999
  • WJCC All-star skip: 1999
  • Canadian Citizenship Award: 1999
  • Canadian Men's Curling Championship First Team All-star Third: 2007
  • Canadian Men's Curling Championship First Team All-star Third: 2008
  • MVP-Canadian Men's Curling Championship Final

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#!/competitions/2254/teams/11802/team_athletes/11802-third-1998
  2. ^ a b "Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Athlete Profile". February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Fit to Curl". September 2009. 
  4. ^ https://www.laurierathletics.com/peopleprofile.php?PeopleID=3968&PCID=7412
  5. ^ http://ontcurl.com/youth-competitions-2/u21-men/#ert_pane1-2
  6. ^ "Canadian Associated Press Athlete Profile". The Star. Toronto. February 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  7. ^ http://ontcurl.com/youth-competitions-2/oca-junior-mixed/#ert_pane1-2
  8. ^ "Laurier Grad Morris Finds His Match With Martin Rink". February 2010. 
  9. ^ http://d5848hujxpva6.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/03/AGM-1999-00.pdf
  10. ^ McAndrew, Brian (March 2009). "Curling's Former Wild Child Simmers Down a Bit". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Olympic Curling Spots up for Grabs at Canadian Trials". CBC News. December 2009. 
  12. ^ "John Morris Hit by Car, Could Miss Brier". CBC News. March 2007. 
  13. ^ "John Morris Out With Broken Finger?". February 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. 
  14. ^ http://calgaryherald.com/sports/john-morris-out-with-broken-finger-updated
  15. ^ "Canada Cruises to Gold Medal in Men's Curling". February 2010. 
  16. ^ Johnston, Mike (24 April 2013). "Morris set to leave Team Martin curling rink". Sportsnet. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Field set for 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials". Canadian Curling Association. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  18. ^ http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/03/06/team-canadas-mid-brier-switch-provides-spark
  19. ^ a b Holder, Gordon J. (February 24, 2016). "Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa holds special meaning for Earle and John Morris". Ottawa Sun. PostMedia Network. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Brier: Alberta's Kevin Koe beats B.C.'s Morris for title". CBC Sports. The Canadian Press. March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Team Canada Captures 2015 Tim Hortons Brier Gold". Curling Canada. Curling Canada. March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  22. ^ "John Morris, Kaitlyn Lawes return to Olympics after mixed doubles victory". CBC Sports. January 7, 2018. 
  23. ^ 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Olympic Curling Trials Media Guide
  24. ^ "Morris' Fit to Curl Battles Sport's Stereotypes". October 2009. 
  25. ^ "John Morris Named One of Canada's Most Eligible bachelors". February 2010. 
  26. ^ Jenna McMurray (March 16, 2014). "Olympic gold medallist John Morris acts as curling coach for Calgary Big Brothers and Sisters". Calgary Sun. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  27. ^ http://www.rmoutlook.com/article/From-curling-to-cuddling-his-own-all-things-bright-for-Morris-20180405

External links[edit]