Jennifer Jones, voted Canada’s best female curler in history, is going back to the Olympics at 47.
Jones, who went undefeated to 2014 Olympic gold as a skip, led a team that won the Canadian Olympic Trials for the Beijing Games on Sunday.
Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jocelyn Peterman and Dawn McEwen (with alternate Lisa Weagle) upset the world’s top-ranked team skipped by Tracy Fleury 6-5 in the final in Saskatoon.
Fleury was 8-0 going into the final and had the hammer in the extra end after Jones missed a potential game-winning shot in the 10th end.
“I can’t remember missing such a bad shot to win a game,” Jones said after getting the steal in the extra end. “Never would have forgiven myself.”
Jones will become Canada’s oldest female Olympian in any sport and can become the oldest woman to win a Winter Olympic medal in any sport from any nation, according to Olympedia.org.
In 2014, Jones was arguably the best athlete across all sports at the Olympics. In addition to becoming the first female skip to go undefeated at an Olympics, she had the highest shooting percentage for a female skip in Olympic history.
Jones, who lost in the 2018 Olympic Trials semifinals, also won world titles in 2008 and 2018, plus a record-tying six Canadian national titles.
“I started curling because I loved the game, and I thought if I could just compete in one [national championship], my dreams would come true,” she said through tears, crying because it was her first major team title since her father died two years ago. “Here we are going to the Olympics twice. How lucky are we?”
Lawes and McEwen return from Jones’ 2014 gold-medal team. Lawes also made it to the 2018 Olympics, taking gold in the new mixed doubles event.
Canada was a medalist in the first 11 Olympic curling tournaments since it returned as a medal sport in 1998, but it failed to make the podium in the men’s and women’s events in 2018 after winning mixed doubles.
Later Sunday, Brad Gushue beat Brad Jacobs 4-3 in the men’s final in a battle of Olympic gold medalists. Gushue (and teammate Mark Nichols) will go 16 years between Olympic appearances after taking gold at the 2006 Torino Games.
Only one athlete has gone more than 16 years between Winter Olympic appearances: hockey player Petr Nedved played for Canada in 1994 and the Czech Republic in 2014.
Jacobs, ranked No. 1 in the world, skipped the 2014 Olympic champion team.
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