“We are going to the Olympics! the legendary skipper later said, smiling through more tears. ” It’s crazy. “
Yep, and Crazy doesn’t even describe how Jones and her team – third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jocelyn Peterman, first Dawn McEwan, and fifth Lisa Weagle – got there in an Olympic Trials for the Ages final on Sunday after. -midday at the SaskTel Center.
Against Tracy Fleury and her previously undefeated quartet, Jones had the hammer and this game apparently in the sack in the 10th end, led 5-4 but with a brace in his sights. On his last rock, Jones had to remove a stone from Fleury to sit two down for the win, one shot, as Fleury later said, “Jenn does 99 percent of the time for sure. Fleury thought it was over. Everyone did it.
The arena went silent when 46-year-old Jones delivered it – then her boulder hit Fleury, as was the plan, but he didn’t hold out to count two, which was also the plan. She only scored a single to tie the game 5-5. It was the 1% of the time Jones didn’t do this move.
“I couldn’t believe I missed that shot in 10, and I never would have forgiven myself,” the 46-year-old captain said later. She thought she had blown it up, a miss she called “devastating.”
Lawes looked down at the ice and almost collapsed to his knees as he watched that red stone sail for a long time. Fleury watched that red rock roll and she covered her mouth with her hand. She had another chance in an extra round, and Fleury had the hammer.
In the 11th, Jones was seated one and set up a guard, forcing Fleury to perform a tricky shot for the win. Jones shrugged a shoulder and dropped her broom to the blue floor and took a big sip of water as she waited while Fleury slammed into the hack with that last stone.
As this last boulder descended onto the ice, Jones began to jump upon seeing it touching his hilt. The Jones team had won, 6-5. Within about 10 minutes, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist had apparently blown up the match, then saved and won.
“I think my heart rate hit the ceiling,” Weagle said, watching everything that was going on. Team coach Victor Kjell kept telling him to breathe deeply. “I’m just completely in shock,” she said.
McEwan, who won Olympic gold with Jones in 2014, echoed that thought when remembering watching Fleury’s last shot.
“I knew it was close because they were screaming, and I think I was in shock when the boulder hit the guard, and I think I was emotionless for a minute, I was just doing everything treat, ”McEwan said, teary eyed. “It’s one of those crazy moments to be in a huge game like this. Just more shock than anything at that point and then I started to scream.
The team’s skipper could barely speak afterward when she met the media with her hands on her face. When Jones was able to speak, she said she cried through the national anthem because she was thinking about her late father, Larry, the reason she got into the sport.
“It’s the first time I’ve won without my dad,” Jones said, through tears. “I love him so much and I just wish he could have been there. “
There wasn’t a dry eye on this Jones team after the win. “Pinch me,” Lawes said with a smile. ” I am so happy. She is heading towards her third consecutive Olympics after winning gold in 2014 with Jones and winning mixed doubles gold in 2018 alongside John Morris.
“I thought it was a game well played, we hung on,” Lawes said. “We are a top team, we had to fight from behind before – but nothing like doing it in a Trials final. “
And against a team that had been perfect all week. “I don’t cry a lot so it’s obviously a big deal,” said Team Fleury third Selena Njegova, whose tears weren’t the happy kind. “We weren’t as sharp as we have been all week unfortunately. “
Weagle, the fifth on the team, got the call to join Team Jones in 2020, shortly after Rachel Homan told him she wanted to split.
“When Jenn called me and asked me to join the team and told me that was what we were going to do, she said to me, and I believed her,” Weagle said. “And we’ve just had this amazing belief in each other and in our process and through the ups and downs, and here we are. “
Here they are, indeed.
“To be an Olympian again?” How do you even explain this? Like, holy smoke, ”Jones said, smiling with tears in his eyes. “How lucky are we? “