Women's curling Canada - Why is Manitoba so strong?
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Women's curling Canada - Why is Manitoba so strong?

While the location of the province is in the middle of Canada, the women’s curlers in Manitoba certainly rank at (or near the top) of the list of best curlers in Canada.

While Manitoba’s nickname is the “Keystone State” due to its geographical location, it may be time to change it up, as it is the home of the best women’s curling in Canada. The province has an affinity for curling, resulting in some of the greatest curlers of all-time and plenty of success tossing stones.

But why does Manitoba win as much as they do in curling, for a province with a relatively small population? Although, there is no direct name to this question, there are a few factors to consider.

One is the creation of Curl Manitoba in 2000. The organization encompasses 93 curling clubs across the province and provides resources for children, adults and even seniors.

Long, bad, cold winters could factor in too. Many Manitobans may flock to arenas to curl as an escape from the dark and cold. And, while hockey remains the most popular sport, curling is easier for an entire family to play (whether its kids, adults and/or seniors).  

The Top Curler’s of the Keystone State

From Olympic Gold Medalists, multiple World Champions and even a six-time winner of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the best women curlers in Manitoba have enough accolades to fill the entire province. Below are a few of the at best women’s curling in Canada currently skipping and sweeping stones on the ice.

Jennifer Jones

Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jennifer Jones tops the list of best female curlers from Manitoba. The curling legend has dominated on the ice and for over twenty years, helping curling grow on television and in popularity amongst more casual viewers.

Jones’ success as Manitoba’s skip has helped Jones transcend the world of curling in a national icon.  

Jennifer Jones is amongst the most decorated Canadian athletes in history. Jones has multiple victories, spanning all the way from 1991 when she became the Manitoba women curling champion (as a junior) up to 2020. At 45, Jones is nearing the end of her career, and even if she never wins another significant tournament, she will end her career as the greatest female curler of all-time.

Jennifer Jones Manitoba Curling

  • Won Gold at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
  • Six Golds at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts
  • Two Golds at World Curling Champions
  • 15 Curling Grand Slam Victories
  • Named Greatest Canadian Female Skip of all-time in 2019 by TSN

Kaitlyn Lawes

With two Olympic Golds before turning 30, Kaitlyn Lawes is already one of the great female curlers ever. Lawes, born in Winnipeg (surprise, surprise), has put together an excellent run since joining the team with Jennifer Jones.

Lawes, the third for team Manitoba, has gold medals at the World Champions and Scotties Tournament of Hearts. She has also performed very well in mixed doubles. In 2018, Lawes, and John Morris, became the first Canadians to win Olympic Gold in mixed doubles.

Kaitlyn Lawes Curling

  • Won Gold at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
  • Won Gold in Mixed Double’s at 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics
  • Ten Grand Slam Victories

Jennifer Clark-Rouire

There must be something about women from Winnipeg named Jennifer and curling that mix because here we go again with a great curler named Jennifer from Manitoba. Jennifer Clark-Rouire is another highly successful female curler from Winnipeg. Although she best be known as an alternate for Jennifer Jones at various curling events, she has plenty of success in her curling career.   

Most recently, Clark-Rouire captured the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship, making it her fifth Scotties gold overall.

Jennifer Clark Rouire Manitoba Curling team

  • Five Scotties Tournament of Hearts Golds
  • 2008 Gold at the Curling World Championships

Honourable Mention Jill Officer

Another great curlier born in Winnipeg (shocking!), is Jill Officer. Officer’s career took off early when she captured the 1994 Canadian Junior Curling Championships (along with fellow Winnipeg resident Jennifer Jones).

In 2000, Officer teamed with Jones on team Manitoba and with Jones on team Canada. During this time, Officer won gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics and captured six Scotties Tournament of Hearts champions.

In 2018, Officer stepped away from competitive curling. She has recently moved into new roles in the curling world, including coaching her niece Kristin MacCuish (who is also from Winnipeg, Manitoba).  

  • Two golds at the Curling World Championships
  • Six Golds at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts
  • Won Gold at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
  • Named Second Greatest Canadian Female Skip of all-time in 2019 by TSN