Olympic medalist brings gold to Swift Current

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Four years after her rink took Bronze at the 2010 World Curling Championships, Olympic Gold Medalist Jill Officer was back in Swift Current giving everyone a glimpse of her Sochi gold medal during a meet and greet at the Living Sky Casino.

The four-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts Champion said this was her first time back in Swift Current since the 2010 Worlds, and it brought back some good memories.

“I just remember the people being really nice and I remember the arena being a really intimate arena,” said Officer, who plays second on Jennifer Jones’ squad. “It was great because the Canadian fans were so loud and excited.”

She even got to see a few familiar faces from the event, like the driver who was responsible for getting the team to the arena.

“He came and said hello and it was really nice him. He was wonderful. One of the best drivers we’ve ever had.”

Officer said she remembers the worlds being a very well run event, and even though they didn’t win gold, it was still had a positive experience.

“I remember the 50/50 pots were huge,” she said with a chuckle. “There was tons of money and I remember the patch being a lot of fun towards the end of the week after we were done curling. The curlers had a lot of fun.”

Gold eluded Officer in Swift Current, but that wasn’t the case at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.  Jones had her medal available for all to see on Friday, and said the feeling of being an Olympic champion is still a little surreal.

“It’s maybe starting to sink in in the last few weeks but only because we finally had the time to let it sink in,” she said. “It’s been quite a whirlwind since we’ve been home from Sochi. Everybody wants to celebrate.  Everybody wants to show their support for our success and we want to be able to share the gold medal with them too.”

Sometimes, she said, it’s hard to believe they were actually there.

“I say it’s a good thing they give you that gold medal, otherwise I’m not sure that I would believe that all of that happened.”

The off-ice experience at Sochi was also a highlight. Officer said the atmosphere around the games was great, and the camaraderie between Canadian athletes was something she’ll always remember.

A few even demonstrated an interest in taking up curling.

“Mike Babcock, the coach of the men’s hockey team actually commented to us that the next time that Detroit is in Winnipeg, he wants us to come and teach his guys how to curl, so we’re hoping that pans out.”

Officer said that even though she’s won Canadian, World and Olympic titles, she still want to keep curling. The Jennifer Jones rink has said they’re going to try and qualify for the next Winter Games in South Korea, and that’s something Officer doesn’t want to miss.

“It’s just so much fun to be part of the sport of curling and I think I get a lot out of it as a person,” she said. “I think there’s more for me to get out of it as a person, so I’m going to stick it out for a bit.”

Organizations: Living Sky Casino

Geographic location: Swift Current, Sochi, Detroit Winnipeg South Korea

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