Canadian champs in Blackfalds
Top from left, Canadian curling champions Dawn Askin, Cathy Overton-Clapham and Jennifer Jones were joined by, bottom from left, Shelby Smith, Lily Overacker and Jorja Smith at Ace Hardware in Blackfalds on Saturday afteroon. Lacombe Globe/RICHARD MACKENZIE
BLACKFALDS- Canadian champions stopped in Blackfalds on Saturday to help a local business celebrate its grand opening, as well as to take the opportunity to sign a few autographs for their fans.
"Who gets to do this in their lives?" said Jennifer Jones, skip of two-time and defending Canadian women's curling championship team. "We're very, very lucky. We get to travel all over the world, to places that we would never otherwise get to and it's such an honour to meet fans face-to-face who have followed and cheered for us. We're very thankful."
Jones was joined by third Cathy Overton-Clapham and lead Dawn Askin at Ace Hardware in Blackfalds on Saturday and noted that her Winnipeg rink is hoping this province will be good for them in the coming year with three of their biggest events taking place in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton, which is hosting the Olympic trails.
"It's a huge year for us," said Jones. "We're gearing up for the trails which means getting on the ice a little bit earlier this year. We want to be as prepared as we can be and hopefully be playing well in December."
Following their Canadian title last winter, Jones and her rink had the chance to defend their World Championship performance from 2008, which they won on home soil in Vernon, B.C.. However, after a strong start in the round portion of the event, the team missed out on a medal after two tough losses.
Jones was asked to sum up the season.
"We thought it was a great year," she said. "We defended our Canadian title which is incredibly hard to do and we went to Korea and really just had the one bad game. But that's the way curling goes. You learn from it and hopefully do better the following year."