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Jones to step away from women's curling

Jennifer Jones Jennifer Jones - The Canadian Press

Jennifer Jones, arguably the greatest female curler ever, is stepping away from the women’s team game. 

Jones put out a message on social media on Tuesday morning announcing she will be retiring from women’s curling at the conclusion of this season. The six-time Canadian champion is in the field for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, which starts in Calgary on Friday.

“I have been so privileged to play thousands of games: the Olympics, national and world championships, Grand Slams and so much more domestically and internationally,” she wrote. “Curling has challenged me, changed me and called me to be a better person, and I will be forever grateful.”

Jones, 49, said she will still compete in mixed doubles, along with her husband, Brent Laing.

Born in Winnipeg, Jones started curling at 11 and won the Canadian Junior Championship in 1994. She made her first appearance in the Canadian women’s championship in 2002, posting an 8-3 record in the round robin before being eliminated in the playoffs.

She won her first Scotties title in 2005 and would add titles in 2008, ’09, ’10, ’15 and ’18. World championships followed in 2008 and 2018.

Perhaps her most notable performance came in the 2014 Olympic Games when she guided her team of Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen to a gold medal, going through the competition undefeated.

Jones returned to the Olympics in 2022 but finished with a 5-4 round-robin record and out of the medals.

In 2019, a TSN poll named Jones as the greatest female curler of all time. Since then, she hasn’t slowed down. In fact, her longevity is one of the more remarkable parts of her career. The team she skips is currently ranked fifth in the world and won a Grand Slam event earlier this season.

Still, she has been balancing life as a wife, mother of two young girls and curler for some time, often having her mother help out while she continues to compete.

“This decision to step away from women’s competition will allow me to transition to other opportunities,” she stated, “and to be able to focus on my family and be more present with our children in their own lives.”

In her farewell post, Jones thanked her teammates, competitors, coaches, television and media members, ice crews, volunteers, and especially the fans.

“Thanks to curling fans everywhere who have been there to make our dreams so much bigger and more powerful,” stated Jones. “Without our fans, we would all just be people throwing rocks in a rink; with you we become part of epic dramas full of intensity, high stakes, and passion.”

Aside from playing in mixed doubles and spending time with her family, Jones didn’t indicate what she has planned next. She is a lawyer, although she hasn’t practiced for several years. She has done some broadcast work from time to time and that could be an option, but for now, she will focus on the upcoming Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the remainder of the curling season.