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John Morris: Bow Valley's Beijing Bound Athletes

“I just love competing and being in a battle out there against the world’s best. It just gets my juices flowing and I just love it."

John Morris, mixed doubles curling, two-time Olympic gold medallist

Let’s face it: there was only ever one team who could have answered the call for Canada.

As blurred carnage of children excitedly playing drum and rattle over the phone, speaking overtop on the other end is John Morris, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and two-time dad.

He, along with Rachel Homan, were handpicked to represent Canada in mixed doubles curling. And as Morris explains, it’s big moments like these, the games where everyone brings their best stuff and then some, that gets Johnny Mo’s blood pumping.

“I just love competing and being in a battle out there against the world’s best. It just gets my juices flowing and I just love it,” Morris said. “I know I don’t have too many years left of being at the top of the world in me so I’m looking forward to giving it absolutely everything I have in the tank this season and for this Olympics and I’ll be doing my best to be bringing some hardware home to Canada.”


A post shared by John Morris (@johnnymo_7)

Morris has already attained legendary status in the curling realm and has a firm place in the discussion of being on Canada’s Mt. Rushmore of curling.

In 2010, Morris cemented his spot in history when his men’s team won gold in Vancouver. 

The next time he participated at the Games was 2018, when he and Kaitlyn Lawes won gold in mixed curling’s Olympic debut. And we haven’t even gotten to Morris’ three national championships and multiple world titles yet.

But for a hungry world-class athlete with a growling stomach, there’s never not one more title out there that can’t satisfy a starved appetite. It’s why Johnny Mo is going to play his ass off while he still can. With big professional and personal changes on the way, including a lighter curling schedule for the 43-year-old family man, Morris said moving forward he’s going to focus strictly on mixed doubles.

“This is my last year playing men’s [curling] just because it’s a grind being away from home for so long and my goals in life are changing a bit,” said Morris, who currently plays for Team Kevin Koe. The team recently won the right to represent Alberta at the 2022 Brier.

“One of the main ones is to be home to raise my kids and be home to enjoy the next chapter in life.”

Since 2018 PyeongChang, Morris has gotten married to wife, Maggie, and they’ve have introduced a future mixed doubles team of their own in Jack and Zoe, their three- and two-year-old son and daughter.

“But the other cool thing is my kids have never really seen me able to curl too much and never experienced an Olympics, so I’m getting them jacked up here to watch some of the Olympics when I’m there and I think they’re thinking it’s pretty cool to watch daddy on TV.”

After a snap-decision to cancel national trials due to rising COVID-19 numbers, Morris and new/old teammate Homan, an Olympian and three-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion, got the nod to wear the Maple Leaf.

It was the logical choice and right call to have the defending champ stand up and put up his dukes for the next round.

As the pandemic continues, Morris brought training camp to the Bow Valley, where the team’s been brushing and tossing rocks down the sheets at the Canmore Golf and Curling Club.

The local club’s been more than exceptional during these times, said Morris, and supportive of not only his and Homan’s Olympic dreams, but also the historic Australia’s mixed doubles team of Dean Hewitt and Tahli Gill, the country’s first-ever curling Olympians.

The Aussies have been working with Morris for the past couple years and training in Canmore since September.

“[Canmore Golf and Curling Club] have been so helpful this year to allow us to train and having events like the Qualico Mixed Doubles Classic and really preparing some world class ice has been a difference maker the last two seasons,” Morris said.

And with Morris and Homan’s combined experience and long time familiarity as mixed doubles partners and friends, Canada is in good hands.

“It feels pretty darn good to be going back to the Olympics, even though it’s going to be a bit of a different experience this time,” Morris said.

“But at the same time, I still have that fire to compete and I feel like I can still be the best in the world in mixed doubles and I’m just really looking forward to the opportunity.”

Jordan Small

About the Author: Jordan Small

An award-winning reporter, Jordan Small has covered sports, the arts, and news in the Bow Valley since 2014. Originally from Barrie, Ont., Jordan has lived in Alberta since 2013.
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