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John Morris a mixed doubles curling convert after gold in Pyeongchang

15 February 2018

Canada broke open a tie game with four in the third end for a 6-2 advantage before going ahead 8-3 after five ends.

" This is for everyone back home [in Canada] that's always been supportive".

John Morris made history with partner Kaitlin Lawes by becoming the first Olympic champions in the mixed curling event at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

In the first running of this event at any Winter Olympics, the Canadian team of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris swept their way to first place and led by seven points before Swiss counterparts Jenny Perret and Martin Rios called time.

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The 29-year-old Lawes, from Winnipeg, won gold at the 2014 Sochi Games in Russian Federation as vice for Jennifer Jones. Each had been to the Winter Games before, him in 2010, her in 2014, both coming home with gold medals, both desperate for another shot at the world's best bonspiel.

A question about whether the four finalists were aware that mixed curling was reaching non-traditional fans such as Mr. T left Rios bewildered, but Morris jumped all over it, saying the exposure the sport received was fantastic before adding: "We would accept a challenge from Mr. T, not an arm-wrestling challenge, but maybe a mixed doubles curling challenge, if he's around". Lawes and Morris also beat the Swiss 7-2 in the round robin. A resilient tandem, they made mistakes in South Korea and learned from them, outscoring their opponents 64-24.

Lawes and Morris recorded a comfortable 10-3 victory in a one-sided final after the Swiss pairing conceded with two ends to spare in front of watching International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

"It's surreal, to be honest", Lawes said. "That's a good discussion we are going to have", Morris said. She took out one of her own rocks, though, and Canada stole two for the 10-3 victory.

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"It was huge", said Lawes of limiting the damage. On the power play, the in-house stone (in this case Switzerland) is placed with its back edge touching the tee line, with half the stone resting in the eight-foot circle and half in the 12-foot.

Canada started well and scored two in the opening end before Switzerland swiftly restored parity with a pair in the second. "The power play is what makes this game so interesting".

Canada struck again for two with the hammer in the fifth to make it 8-2 and clinched the game in the sixth, once again, as flawless shots by Morris and Lawes left Perret a Hail Mary angle raise to try and take two Canadian rocks off the button. "It's something that everyone that loves curling back in Canada should try".

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John Morris a mixed doubles curling convert after gold in Pyeongchang