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Morris won Olympic gold in 2010 as a third for Kevin Martin’s team.
“I was so lucky to go to Vancouver for the Olympics and now this. It’s going to be so cool and I feel so honoured.”
The two had family in friends in the crowd cheering on their every shot and when it was all over, there was Lawes’ mom, Cheryl, ready to hand over a Canadian flag for her and Morris to drape themselves in.
“It’s a dream to be able to play in front of our friends and family,” Lawes said. “I’m so lucky that I had my mom and boyfriend’s family and friends come out and watch. That support is something I’ll never forget.”
There was a point in the week when it looked like Lawes and Morris would miss the playoffs. They had a 2-3 record after five games and were struggling with communication at times. But the two fierce competitors came together when they needed it most to complete their magical run.
This was only the second time Lawes and Morris had played mixed doubles together. Morris normally plays with Rachel Homan, but when her team won the trials last month, he was left scrambling to find a partner with just weeks to spare.
“Kaitlyn was my first choice,” he said.
While it’ll be the second time for both Lawes and Morris heading to the Olympics, it’s also doubly stinging for Gushue and Sweeting.
Both of their teams had their Olympic dreams dashed last month in Ottawa at the trials.
And then this.
After the loss Gushue was critical of his play, specifically pointing to what he calls a “strategic error” in the fourth end leading to four massive points for Lawes and Morris and the turning point of the game.
“It wasn’t my best today,” he said.
“We didn’t give up and it just wasn’t our day out there. I’m proud of us,” she said.
“That’s what I’m most disappointed about. She’s deserving of putting a maple leaf on her back and I think my play today caused her not to have that.”
“I’ve never swept so much in my life,” Morris said. “I can’t wait to get some physio done on my shoulder.”
But they won’t be able to rest for long. Curling Canada has mapped out what every day looks like for them from now until the Olympics. Despite the aches and pains, the thrill of victory diminishes any soreness the two might be feeling.
“It’s an honour any time you get to wear the maple leaf at the Olympic Games,” Lawes said. “It’s so rare so to do a second time.”
This is the first time mixed doubles is being featured at the Olympics. Canada has never won gold at a mixed doubles world championship, and so now the weight of those lofty expectations intensifies.
Beginning one month from now, we’ll find out if they can come through.