The curling marriage between Kevin Martin and John Morris has come to an end.
Morris is leaving the Alberta-based team skipped by Martin after seven sometimes-challenging years, according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Canadian Curling Association.
"As much as we've all tried very hard to find a way to fight back and get better, in the end it was obvious that we needed a change," Morris said in the statement. "Myself and Kevin were no longer thriving in our back-end role like we did in our 2010 Olympic gold-medal run. I have always been a very driven and intense athlete and right now, in this situation, I feel my passion and love for the game of curling is not where it needs to be. As a result, it is with a very heavy heart that I will be stepping down as my role of third on Team Martin."
With Martin, second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert staying together, the team will keep its direct-entry berth in the Canadian Olympic curling trials Dec. 1-8 in Winnipeg. The Martin riink got into the qualifier, which will determine Canada's representative at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, by winning the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling.