The women’s final at the Tim Horton’s Roar of the Rings at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre resulted in hometown hero Jennifer Jones earning her spot to the Sochi Winter Games. Ironically, the number seven would play a big role in her victory. Born on July 7 (the seventh day of the seventh month), she wears number 77 on her uniform.
In the seventh end, she cracked a three against Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh for a 7-3 advantage. The match would end in an 8-4 triumph. Having scored two three-enders, it turned the tide in Jones’ favor. Ironically, the victory came on December 7 while the Sochi Winter Games begins on February 7.
With 8,565 fans in attendance, Jones would punch her ticket to Sochi. Joining her shall be Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen. Of note, Officer and Jones began curling together in 1992. Despite a four-year sabbatical from the game, where Officer relocated to Brandon, the two shall see their successful partnership culminate with a chance to compete on the world’s biggest stage.
Hailing from Coldwater, Ontario, the 47 year-old Middaugh never finished higher than third place during a Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling ational championship. The members of her rink featured third Jo-Ann Rizzo, second Lee Merklinger, lead Leigh Armstrong and alternate Lori Eddy. During round robin play, Jones had bested Middaugh by a 9-7 tally. Middaugh would defeat reigning Canadian champion Rachel Homan in a 10-4 upset to advance to the finals.
Facing stiff competition from Middaugh and Rachel Homan prior to the beginning of the event, Jones persevered. At 39 years of age, she has been curling for an astounding 28 years. The recipient of four Canadian championships, her accomplishments was complemented by achievements at the Women’s Worlds. Gold was claimed at the 2008 worlds in a victory over China and bronze in the 2010 edition. Of note, she will be part of the first Manitoba team to represent Canada in women’s curling at the Winter Games.
When not curling, Jones serves as corporate counsel for the Winnipeg branch of Wellington West Capital Holdings Inc. Her Bachelor of Arts in 1996 was followed with an LL.B. in 1999 from the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining the firm, she practiced law with the private law firm of Aikins MacAulay and Thorvaldson.
Middaugh and Jones both have unique connections in the game. Jones’ partner, Brent Laing, is a second for Glenn Howard’s rink. The two have a young daughter, Isabella. Middaugh’s husband Wayne, is the third for Howard’s rink. At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Cheryl Bernard had represented Canada in the women’s curling event. Taking home a silver after a loss to Sweden in the gold medal final, Jones is hoping to build on her strong curling legacy.