New-look Jones to take Homan’s spot in Grand Final
The two-time world champions will be heading to Beijing for the Grand Final.
Former Olympic champions Team Jennifer Jones have been announced as Team Rachel Homan’s replacements at the Curling World Cup Grand Final in May.
The iconic 44-year-old skip is joined by an illustrious trio in double Olympic champion Kaitlyn Lawes (third), world champion Shannon Birchard (second) and Olympic gold medallist Jill Officer (lead).
Birchard, the youngest member of the team, regularly throws second stones on Team Kerri Einarson and was the alternate for Team Jones when they struck gold at last year’s World Women’s Curling Championship. The 24-year-old will replace regular Team Jones second Jocelyn Peterman in the line-up.
Officer, who has previously played under Jones for more than 16 years, will replace lead Dawn McEwen in the Canadian team.
Jones, 44, was recently named Canada’s greatest female curler by sports broadcaster TSN, while lead Jill Officer was voted the greatest second.
Manitoba born and raised, Jones has a list of outstanding accomplishments to her name, including winning Olympic gold in 2014 by going unbeaten throughout the tournament, notching the highest number of Grand Slam wins (15) and being a record-equalling, six-time Scotties champion.
The Canadian is also famed for her final-stone, championship-winning delivery - dubbed ‘The Shot’ - at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2005, which commentator – and now China coach – Mike Harris described as "the best shot I've ever seen to win a game” at the time.
Suzhou champions Team Homan are unable to attend the Grand Final due to their skip, Homan, and their second, Joanne Courtney, being pregnant, with both their due dates in the summer.
Team Jones were initially set to compete in Omaha before opting to play at the TSN’s All-Star Skins game and their participation in Beijing marks a return to the country for the second time this season after finishing third at the China Open last October.