'It's finally sunk in'

ROB NAY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

A hero's welcome greeted Jennifer Jones and Team Canada yesterday as they arrived home to Winnipeg, following their victory at the women's world curling championship.

"It's pretty emotional. It's a dream come true," said Jones after arriving in Winnipeg.

The team received warm wishes from fellow passengers on their flight home yesterday and were met by more than 150 people at Richardson International Airport.

Applause, whistling and shouts of support greeted the team as they made their way down the escalator at the airport, preceded by a bagpiper. Fans held aloft signs that read "Congrats girls" and "World Champion -- Team Jennifer Jones."

"To come to home to this reception -- I think it actually finally sunk in what we've accomplished," said Jones, the team's skip.

Team Canada defeated China's Bingyu Wang 7-4 in the final of the World Women's Curling Championship at the Greater Vernon Multiplex on Sunday afternoon.

"We just couldn't wait to get home to share in this with everybody," said Jones.

She gave credit to the team's ability to stick together in the face of obstacles on the ice.

"We never say die, and we believe in each other so much that even when things are not going so great, we know we can put it together because we have the talent and we just support each other," said Jones.

Some of her teammates said their work ethic played a significant role in the big win.

"It was an amazing feeling, just a thrill," said third Cathy Overton-Clapham. "We've worked so hard as a team and worked on so many different things to try and get better."

"This is probably one of my biggest dreams, to be able to participate in a world championship, let alone win one," said lead Dawn Askin.

The four signed autographs and appeared very happy with the welcome they received.

"I can't believe the people that have come out to support us," said second Jill Officer.

Numerous Winnipeggers went to the airport to celebrate the team's win. "I think it's wonderful that we've got homegrown girls that have won the worlds," said Kay McKinnon.

"I'm very, very excited about their wonderful success," said Noreen Wilson. "It's not very often you see world champions from this city."

Others marvelled at Team Canada's skills on the ice at the world championship.

"It took my breath away. I thought they played fabulously," said Susan Cobb-Diotte.

When talk turned to hopes for the Olympics, Jones said the team is still soaking up its recent win.

"The Olympics would be nice, but right now we're pretty excited about this," she said.


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