WINNIPEG, MB - After over two decades together, Jennifer Jones and Jill Officer won't be playing on the same curling team when the 2018-19 curling season gets underway.
Team Jones confirmed in a release sent to media that Officer will be taking a step back from competitive curling. Her place in the lineup will be taken by former Canadian Junior champion Jocelyn Peterman. Peterman joins the Jones rink which includes Dawn McEwan at lead and recent mixed-doubles gold medal winner Kaitlyn Lawes throwing third.
"I've known for a while I would not play another quadrennial, so this was a decision that I've been considering for quite some time, and I finalized my decision before the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, that regardless of the outcome I was stepping back," said Officer, who will remain involved with the team as she stays on as the alternate player.
"I've had an absolutely amazing ride with this team, and we've shared so many wonderful experiences, on and off the ice, so it wasn't an easy decision, but at this point in time, it's the right decision."
The 42-year-old has built up an impressive resume over her two decades with Jones including an Olympic gold medal at the 2014 Sochi games, nine Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling titles, a World Championship, and a record-tying sixth Canadian women's Championship which they won last month. Officer will be in the lineup as Team Jones represents Canada at the 2018 Ford World Women's Curling Championship, March 17-25 in North Bay, Ont.
"Jill has been such a wonderful teammate for so many years, and her contributions to our team go well beyond what she does on the ice," said Jones. "She's a special friend, a special teammate, so it was difficult to fill her position. But I know Jocelyn Peterman has an amazing skill-set and experience, and I expect that she will be able to fit in well."
Peterman, who is also a Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion from when she was playing second for Chelsea Carey in 2016, says she is excited to join one of the most successful curling teams in the world.
"I'm both thrilled and humbled by this opportunity," Peterman stated. "I had so many great years curling with Chelsea, and learned so much with that team. I'm looking forward to learning more with Team Jones, but I know I have big shoes to fill. I have admired Jill so much as a player, and I look forward to having her with us in a supporting role and being able to draw on her knowledge and experience."
Bill Burfoot, Manitoba Post