Pre-tournament favourites Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris lived up to that billing by easing to a 10-3 defeat of Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios in the curling mixed doubles gold medal match at PyeongChang 2018 on Tuesday 13 February.
The result was rarely in doubt from the moment an uncharacteristic Rios error on end three allowed the Canadians to score four and shoot into a 6-2 lead at the Gangneung Curling Centre. The reigning world champions, Perret and Rios, trimmed the deficit by one on the next end, only for Lawes and Morris to stretch the lead to 8-3 on end five and then make a two-shot steal on end six. Having seen enough, the Swiss duo sportingly conceded the match with two ends still remaining.
The result confirmed the Canadian duo’s supremacy in the competition. Having lost their opening game to Norway, they bounced back to go undefeated throughout the rest of the tournament, that run including a 7-2 round robin defeat of the Swiss.
Lawes, a gold medallist in the women’s competition at Sochi 2014, and Morris, a men’s team champion at Vancouver 2010, now go down in Olympic history as the first even winners of the mixed doubles event.
“It’s surreal, to be honest,” said Lawes afterwards. “I don’t think even the first one [her Sochi 2014 gold] has sunk in and I don’t think it ever will. But it’s just a dream come true to represent our country on the world’s biggest stage and to be able to bring this home for Canada is so special.”
Commenting on the Swiss team’s early concession of the match, she added: “I was a little bit surprised. We were anticipating playing eight ends down to the last rock. All the kudos to them. They are such a talented team and represented their country so well.”
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but you don’t have a lot of chances to go to the Olympics, especially being from Canada,” commented her playing partner Morris.
It feels unbelievable - two golds for Canada. This is for everybody back home, who have always been supportive and it just feels so great. We got off to a great start. It just feels awesome to be part of this team.John Morris Canada
Formed by husband and wife Alexander Krushelnitskiy and Anastasia Bryzgalova, the Olympic Athlete of Russia rink took the bronze earlier in the day.