Curling takes a toll

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:56 AM ET

Whenever Jennifer Jones finds a replacement for Cathy Gauthier, you can bet she is hoping the new lead will have a pair of healthy knees and arms.

Seems like the 'Dream Team' won the Canadian curling crown last season despite being hobbled by wonky knees and a bad shoulder. Third Cathy Overton-Clapham, for example, is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on her sliding knee. She first aggravated it back in November.

"Her knee bugged her all year," Jones said yesterday. "She toughed it out because she was in quite a bit of pain all year."

Turns out that Jones has also had to overcome a knee problem (cartilage) of her own.

"The thing about curling is that it's really hard on the knees," she said. "(But) it hasn't bugged me for the last few years. I just maintain certain exercises (which were recommended by a therapist) for it."

Second Jill Officer also had a bad shoulder and Gauthier had cartilage problems with her hack knee for years.

Jones is still seeking a replacement for Gauthier, who decided to leave the St. Vital squad last week to spend more time with her two young children.

"It's been a tough week," Gauthier said. "I still feel weird about the whole thing. But I've checked some of the (Internet) chat sites and it seems like people do get why I'm doing it."

Jones figures it will take at least another week to find a replacement.

SISTERS SPLIT: Meanwhile, 2002 Manitoba champion Barb Spencer has split with her older sister, Darcy Robertson, because her third decided to cut back on her curling next season. The Fort Rouge skip picked up Chelsea Carey, just out of junior, to play third. Robertson will skip a squad of her own but with a much lighter schedule.

"We're a very close family and she didn't want to hold me back," Spencer said. "We'll still play mixed together."

BITERS: Rumour has it that Ken Tresoor, who played third for Kerry Burtnyk last year, has hooked up with Petersfield's Dave Boehmer ... St. Vital's Bill Kuran, who had planned to sit out the season, has decided to play after all -- with a completely new team ... The Canadian Curling Association has awarded the 2006 national junior championships to Thunder Bay, Ont., Jan. 21-29 ... The first annual Sandra Schmirler Manitoba Golf Classic will be held at Larters at St. Andrews on July 28, with proceeds going to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation. Cost is $175 per player or $700 per foursome. For more info, call Jon Mead at 204-831-8759.


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