With the Junos set to hit Winnipeg in a few weeks, perhaps it's fitting that Jennifer Jones and her teammates are living the lives of rock stars.
A week after Jones made the shot of a lifetime to give Manitoba its first Canadian women's curling championship in 10 years in St. John's, Nfld., members of the St. Vital foursome are still basking in the glow of public adulation.
"It's amazing," Jones said after she and her teammates received a standing ovation prior to dropping the puck for a ceremonial faceoff at the Manitoba Moose game at the MTS Centre yesterday.
"Winning was amazing but all this other stuff is almost surreal. It's overwhelming."
Since Jones made her in-off to score four in the 10th end and beat Ontario's Jenn Hanna 8-6 in the Scott Tournament of Hearts final, her life has changed considerably.
Everywhere she goes people want to shake her hand, and it's not just curling fans.
"I go to the mall and people stop me and congratulate me," said Jones, who along with third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Cathy Gauthier will represent Canada at the women's world curling championship March 19-27 in Paisley, Scotland.
"Some people say they never watched curling before but they saw the shot and now they are hooked. What we really love is just the excitement that it generated."
Jones, a 30-year-old Winnipeg lawyer, made headlines across the country with her all-or-nothing shot, but perhaps the thing that was so special for Manitoba sports fans was the on-ice celebration that ensued.
The pure joy of the moment was enough to bring tears to the eyes of viewers across the province.
"People in the street that I don't know are saying it was one of the best sports moments that they've ever seen," Jones said. "I don't know. I always said I'd never get so excited but there was just so much emotion. Everybody is telling me that they remember where they were and what they were doing when they saw the shot."
Meanwhile, all is not rosy yet for the Canadian champions, who are slated to leave for Scotland on March 14.
Gauthier, who suffered from an ear infection in St. John's and blew out an eardrum on the flight home, will see an ear, nose and throat specialist today to make sure she can fly to Scotland.
"It's tough because as much as I want to go back to the worlds, I don't want to be deaf for the rest of my life," Gauthier said yesterday.
Jones, who will use Trisha Eck as her fifth player as she did in St. John's, said the team has not made a contingency plan in case Gauthier can't fly.
"We are confident that it will be fine," she said. "If we have to deal with it, we'll deal with it."