After having knee surgery in June and giving birth to her daughter Isabella, Jennifer Jones is back on the ice.
The four-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion started delivering rocks about 10 days after Isabella was born in November.
“I have been on the ice quite a while,” said Jones following Wednesday’s practice for the 2013 Continental Cup in Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre. “I was throwing about seven days before she was born.”
The Winnipeg native was trying to rehab her knee and making sure she stayed in shape for her return.
“I feel great,” said Jones, who has loved becoming a mother. “My knee doesn’t even feel like anything happened to it. Everything is going way better than I expected.”
Jones’ team, including Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn Askin, aim to help Team North America break the 4-4 tie against Team World.
Even without their leader, the team has had a strong start to the season with Lawes stepping up to take on skip duties. After winning their first cash spiel of the season, The Shoot-Out in Edmonton, they battled to the women’s final of the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup in Moose Jaw, losing in a tight match to Stefanie Lawton.
Jones came out on top of the Capital One Canada Cup field in 2011 to secure a berth in the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Winnipeg. The all-important spot in the Canadian Curling Trials provides the team with the chance to compete for the right to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
With the Continental Cup being Jones’ first event of the year, she utilized the first practice to get loose. She also loved being out there with the other women.
“I know we will have some fun,” said Jones, competing in her fourth Continental Cup. “It’s a great event for me to come back in and play.
Competing in the mixed event, Jones will play with her domestic partner, Brent Laing.
“It should be a lot of fun,” said Jones, who tied her opening Continental Cup game on Thursday 6-6 against Team Margaretha Sigfridsson. “Hopefully we go out there and play well.”
Asked who will call, the shots, jokingly Jones said she does.
“It’s a team effort,” said Jones, who played with Laing in the 2007 Continental Cup.
She added that it’s kind of a rare occurance for them to play together and they are looking forward to it.
Jones knows what to expect from the Continental Cup, which she described as being “just a ton of fun.” She loves the four-day event because they are able to be part of a bigger team. They go out there and win for the team.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Jones, who won the women’s world championship in Vernon in 2008. “It’s just so unique for us. It’s one of the best events we play in.”
More coverage of the Continental Cup, which wraps up on Sunday, can be found at www.pentictonwesternnews.com and results at www.curling.ca. Final coverage will be in Wednesday’s issue.