Car crash doesn't slow down Ontario third

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. -- Tara George has been shooting 74% for one of the best and most aggressive teams at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts this week.

That is rather shocking since the Ontario third, who was born in this town on the banks of Lake Superior, should not be playing as she was injured in a car crash on the eve of the Canadian women's curling championship.

"A week ago, on the 28th of January, it was a triple car accident," George said. "A ladder fell off a vehicle in front. The car in front of me slammed on its brakes, I slammed on mine. The women behind me wasn't so fast. She hit me and I ended up with double whiplash."

George, 36, did not know if she would be able to play this week, never mind perform at such a high level.

"I've had chiropractic work coming into this," said George, who received laser treatment from a chiropractor on Tuesday.

George also plays with an icy hot patch around her neck but the problems have not affected her delivery.

"It's like golf when you don't have a lot of mobility, you don't do a lot of those wonky things," she said.

Back in 1999, Nova Scotia's Colleen Jones was involved in a vehicle accident shortly before that Hearts tournament and she wound up winning that championship.

"You know, I was in a car accident and my daughter fell off the back of the couch and knocked her mouth and was bleeding all over and I thought we must be winning here, actually, because we can't have anything else bad happen," George said.

MOVING UP: When her Team Canada squad clobbered Quebec 9-4, Jennifer Jones recorded her 67th victory at the Hearts tourney, which is third all time.

"Really? That's kind of exciting," Jones said. "I'm not really a stats girl but it's pretty nice. It's probably some pretty elite company and it's nice to be a part of that."

Colleen Jones leads with a total of 140 wins and Manitoba's Connie Laliberte sits second at 74.

FIFTH DIMENSION: Team Canada alternate Jennifer Clarke-Rouire and Manitoba fifth Kendra Georges have now played enough ends to be eligible for any jewelry or jewelry upgrades that will go to the winning teams.

"I'm not sure what to think about that, quite honestly," said Clarke-Rouire. "I know how lucky I am to have this ring on my finger. As long as I'm recognized by my teammates and my coach, that's all the recognition that I need. But, for me, it was very exciting."

For Georges, too.

"It was obviously really exciting," she said of her first Hearts action. "They were nice enough to let me play an end or two here and there and get the nerves out a bit. It was awesome, an incredible experience."


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