Decorated curling skip Jennifer Jones has announced she will retire from women’s team curling at the end of this season.
Winner of six Canadian women’s curling championships, two world championships and an Olympic gold medal in 2014, Jones wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday that this season will be her last skipping a women’s team, although she will continue curling mixed doubles with her husband Brent Laing.
The 49-year-old from Winnipeg will skip a team in the Canadian women’s curling championship for the 18th time her career starting Friday in Calgary.
“I have been so privileged to play thousands of games — the Olympics, National and World Championships, grand slams, and so much more,” Jones said in a statement. “Curling has challenged me, changed me and called me to be a better person, and I will be forever grateful.”
Jones and teammates went undefeated to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s curling in 2014.
She and Colleen Jones, a retired CBC broadcaster, are tied for the most national women’s titles with six.
“Jennifer is a generational player, said Colleen Jones. “Much like tennis superstars like Serena Williams or Roger Federer, her perfect delivery, brilliant curling mind and unshakeable composure under pressure sets her apart from every other curler on the planet.”
Colleen Jones, who is set to return as coach of Team Nova Scotia at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts this week in Calgary, also marvels at Jennifer Jones’ longevity in the sport.
“She won her first Scotties in 2005 and she has maintained being one of the scariest skips to throw against throughout that entire time,” said Colleen Jones. “I stood behind her scoreboard in ’05 when she went down to throw her epic in-off [shot] for the win … that shot started her run.
“I was there also at the Sochi Olympics, where she just confidently marched through the field. It’s still one of those dominant performances where seemingly, a skip just decides, ‘I am not missing,’ and the team just follows her confidence and sheer will.”
Jones and Laing won the Canadian mixed doubles championship last year and finished fourth at the world championship.
“I think her desire to go to the Olympics with Brent is huge, and obviously they are one of the best mixed doubles teams in the country and reigning Canadian champs,” said Colleen Jones.