Curling world reacts to Team Jennifer Jones’ decision to call it quits

One of the world's top women’s curling teams has announced they are splitting up at the end of the season. As Mark Neufeld reports, their impact on the sport of curling will not soon be forgotten.

By Mark Neufeld and The Canadian Press

One of the world’s top women’s curling teams is splitting up.

Team Jennifer Jones announced on Twitter on Monday that players would go their separate ways at season’s end.

“We wanted our fans and the curling community to hear it from us first that we have decided to go in different directions once the season is over.

“It’s been an incredible journey and we are so thankful for every game and every moment spent together over the last few years.”

Elaine Dagg-Jackson, the national women’s coach and program manager with Curling Canada, has travelled the world with Team Jones. She attended every world championship and two Olympic Games with the team.

Dagg-Jackson says the team has become a trademark in women’s curling, due to their longevity, and time spent at the pinnacle of the sport.

“They’ve really defined the image of what women can aspire to over their curling careers,” said Dagg-Jackson. “They’ve been brilliant leaders and role models for curlers that will follow them.”

Retirement of Dawn McEwen days earlier

Dawn McEwen, the lead for Team Jones, announced two days earlier that she’d decided to retire at the end of the season. The 41-year-old mom of two young daughters had played with Jones for 15 years.

McEwan became an Olympic champion in 2014 in Sochi, Russia and won five Scotties tournaments of heart titles.

“Dawn’s retirement is the end of an era for an amazing story,” added Dagg-Jackson. “Dawn has been such an incredible curling athlete over the years and I could kind of feel that the time might be coming for her at this point in her life.”

Third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jocelyn Peterman and alternate Lisa Weagle make up the rest of the team, which is ranked No. 5 in the world.

Manitoba curlers reflect on Jones’ career

Annette Giguere grew up playing against – and often losing to – members of Team Jones in the early ‘90s. She still remembers the thrill of watching the women win 11 games in a row to become the first Manitoba-based curling team to win an Olympic gold medal in Sochi.

That victory sparked not only provincial pride, but a boost in interest, says Giguere.

“It created a surge of people wanting to learn the sport,” she said.

Team Jones’ home curling club is St. Vital, where there is a massive mural celebrating the women’s gold-medal run in 2014.

Jason Pruden, president of the curling club, says the world of curling will always remember Team Jones as one of the best in the world.

“They’ve all had fantastic careers,” he said.

“We’re not going to forget about Teams Jones any time soon. They have cemented their legacy in curling, in women’s curling, and we are very proud of them.”

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