Morris ‘proud’ to represent Canada
John Morris has been a strong advocate of the mixed doubles format.
Two-time Olympic champion John Morris can’t wait to lock horns with "some of the best talent in the game” at next week’s Curling World Cup second leg in Omaha, Nebraska.
Morris now specialises in mixed doubles and the 39-year-old claimed the first Olympic gold medal in the format alongside Kaitlyn Lawes in PyeongChang earlier this year.
Morris and Lawes also won the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Classic earlier this month but he will be teaming up with Kalynn Park in Omaha. He was due to partner Taylor McDonald but she will now compete with Team Alison Flaxey at the Canada Cup instead.
Morris says the Curling World Cup is a great opportunity to further showcase mixed doubles and represent the Maple Leaf against world-class opposition.
“[The Curling World Cup] has really brought together the curling world in a way that was previously only prevalent at the world championships and Olympics,” said Morris.
“I think it is great that China is helping to produce a world-class event with a good prize purse that will attract some of the best talent in the game.
“I am very excited that the mixed doubles format is being featured as I truly believe that this is a great new discipline and it has received a lot of momentum since the Olympics.
“This is a great idea by the Curling World Cup organisers to showcase this new sport of mixed doubles and continue the great hype that was created at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.”
The full-time firefighter has played all around the globe and has won every accolade on offer in the sport, but it will be his first time throwing stones in the state of Nebraska – an experience Morris is eager to participate in.
“I stayed a night in Omaha on our way through the USA a few years back and it was quite a nice and cosy town with a charming character.
“I am looking forward to seeing my friends from the international curling world, and also hoping to find some really good places to eat as I love good quality food.”
There was a Canadian clean sweep in the first leg in Suzhou and the 2008 world champion insists he thrives under the pressure of representing his all-conquering country.
“We always have pressure in Canada to win when we are on the world stage in hockey and in curling. I am proud to be Canadian and love having this pressure as it helps get a rise out of me and is one of the main reasons that I still curl.”
Morris and Park have been drawn alongside a familiar pairing in Norway’s Olympic bronze medallists Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten – who Morris beat on his way to February’s gold medal in PyeongChang.
“I have never played in a double round-robin before, but I am excited to try it for the first time. There are definitely some new creative rules for the Curling World Cup but I for one am all for positive changes that make our sport more exciting for players and fans.