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And we've seen that, especially over the last 10 years.“So those teams are just getting tougher and tougher, and the international competitions are changing to some degree in that regard. “With a post-Olympic year, you never know what to expect,” second Jill Officer said after the team's final practice session in Winnipeg last week. Lawes admitted it's been tough for her to get out of bed and head to the gym a few times since their Russian gold rush, but what Winnipegger doesn't experience that during the relentless winter? The .250 batting average at the worlds has not been eating away at Officer, probably because winning gold for Canada at international curling events isn't as easy as it used to be – not to mention she has an Olympic gold medal to hang around her neck. It will be the fifth world championship for Jones and Officer, the fourth for Mc Ewen and the first for Lawes. Jones and Officer have won only one world title in four trips, which is not exactly terrible, but much is expected when you wear the maple leaf at international curling competitions.Two-time defending champions Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo were second at 78.92, a sliver ahead of Torontos Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier (78.15), who had to be at least somewhat satisfied with their creditable performance given that Gilles was still in a somewhat weakened condition after a nasty flu bug kept her in bed and restricted to fluids only on Thursday.Speaking of energy and related matters, Virtue said Moir said they had to work on controlling theirs in their first nationals since winning their last Canadian title at Ottawas Canadian Tire Centre in 2014. But I feel more pressure at this nationals that I can ever remember at any of the other 15 previous ones. Virtue really did say that she and Scott Moir were approaching their return to the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships as if they were underdogs because it feels like we are. Underdog status is pretty much impossible for an ice dance team that has won six previous Canadian titles, two world championships and Olympic gold and silver medals.We have to chase, we have to feel that in our training and practice. It certainly was Friday after the short dance portion of the 2017 nationals at TD Place arena, where the Montreal-based athletes from London and Ilderton, Ont., brought spectators to their feet with a sparkling effort that was rewarded with a national-record sum of 84.36 judging points.
Virtue is wearing a simple black dress and a black jacket, and has that pretty smile that could freeze most men.
If there were ever a time for the Jennifer Jones foursome to mail it in, this would have been the year to do it. That is by far the longest drought for Canada in the event's 36-year history, but winning the worlds isn't the Holy Grail it once was.
The Winnipeg women's curling team won Olympic gold last year in Sochi, Russia, and what more is there to prove after that? There will be more than a few faces in Japan who will bring back good memories for Jones and Co., as five of the other 11 skips competed at last year's Olympics.
Moir, wearing a designer jacket and colourful buttoned shirt, walks with obvious confidence.
“I’ve got my hands in my pockets, because I think I’m going to get in the way of somebody, and get recognized,” Moir says with another grin.