Olympics rekindles fire for Jones

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:18 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Earlier this year, Jennifer Jones nearly walked away from the sport she loves and has dominated for much of the past decade.

As a guest during a Callaway function featuring LPGA Tour player Morgan Pressel on Tuesday morning, Jones dropped the bombshell, telling the assembled crowd she seriously considered retiring from curling.

“I was serious,” Jones said in an interview after the breakfast at Glendale Country Club. “I just thought it was maybe time to do other things. But then I went to the Olympics and then it was too hard to not want to (curl).”

Fortunately for curling fans, Jones reconsidered her position after attending the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, as a curling reporter for Yahoo! sports.

“Vancouver was a thrill of a lifetime every moment,” said Jones, who would have preferred to be playing but was able to take stock after living the experience. “It was so exciting. I had always said that I would keep curling as long as I can get better and I still think I can get better.

“I wanted to retire when I felt I couldn’t do that anymore. When I sat back and thought about what I wanted to do and what I had always said I would do, I decided to keep going.”

Although she prefers to live in the moment, it’s clear that Jones is driven to get to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 as a member of Team Canada instead of a member of the media.

“The Olympics helped me gain perspective,” said Jones, whose team captured a bronze medal at the 2010 World Curling Championship. “It made me realize that if I left (the sport) before I thought I was ready, I knew I would regret it later on.”

Instead of retiring, Jones is coming into the new season feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

After making the tough decision to replace veteran Cathy Overton-Clapham at third with up-and-comer Kaitlyn Lawes, Jones is excited about the upcoming season.

“Seeing curling through a 22-year-old’s eyes is going to be good for us,” said Jones, who will continue to be supported by Dawn Askin and Jill Officer. “It’s going to be exciting.”

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos