John Morris (curler)

Last updated
John Morris
John Morris, Olympic Gold Medalist.JPG
Born (1978-12-16) December 16, 1978 (age 42)
Team
Curling club The Glencoe Club,
Calgary, AB [1]
Canmore G&CC [2]
Canmore, AB
Skip Kevin Koe
Third B. J. Neufeld
Second John Morris
Lead Ben Hebert
Alternate Mike Caione
Mixed doubles
partner
Rachel Homan
Career
Member AssociationFlag of Ontario.svg  Ontario (1993-2003; 2020)
Flag of Alberta.svg  Alberta (2003-2013; 2014-2016)
Flag of British Columbia.svg  British Columbia (2013-2014; 2016-2018)
Brier appearances12 (2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021)
World Championship
appearances
3 (2008, 2009, 2015)
Olympic
appearances
2 (2010, 2018)
Top CTRS ranking 1st (2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11)
Grand Slam victories11 (2004 Players', 2007 Canadian Open (Jan.), 2007 National (Mar.), 2007 Players', 2007 Canadian Open (Dec.), 2007 National (Dec.), 2010 Canadian Open, 2010 Players', 2010 National (Dec.), 2011 Players', 2017 Elite 10)

John C. Morris [3] (born December 16, 1978; nicknamed "Johnny Mo") is a Canadian curler, and two-time Olympic gold medallist from Canmore, Alberta. [4] Morris played third for the Kevin Martin [5] team until April 24, 2013. Morris, author of the book Fit to Curl, [6] is the son of Maureen and Earle Morris, inventor of the "Stabilizer" curling broom. Morris grew up in Gloucester, Ontario [7] (now part of Ottawa) and at the age of five began curling at the Navy Curling Club.

Contents

Career

Junior career

Morris' 1998 and 1999 World Junior Championship banners at the Ottawa Curling Club Worldjuniorsbanners.PNG
Morris' 1998 and 1999 World Junior Championship banners at the Ottawa Curling Club

As a junior curler, Morris skipped his Ottawa Curling Club rink to three-straight Ontario provincial junior Men's titles from 1997 to 1999, [8] and won the 1998 and 1999 Canadian and World Junior Championships, setting records for most wins by a skip along the way.

Morris and his rink of Craig Savill, Matt St. Louis and Mark Homan would represent Ontario at the 1997 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. His team would finish the round robin with a 7–5 record, in a five-way tie for third place. He would go on to beat British Columbia's T. J. Perepolkin, New Brunswick's Tommy Sullivan in tiebreakers, the Northwest Territories' Jamie Koe in the semifinal before losing to Alberta's Ryan Keane in the final.

The next season, Morris brought in a new front end for his junior team, adding Andy Ormsby and Brent Laing to replace St. Louis and Homan. At the 1998 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, he led his Ontario Team to a 9–3 round robin record, in a 4-way tie for first place. The team beat New Brunswick's Rob Heffernan in a tiebreaker, before beating Manitoba's Mike McEwen in the semifinal and then Alberta's Carter Rycroft in the final. Their win qualified the team to represent Canada at the 1998 World Junior Curling Championships. There, the team would go 9–0 in the round robin, before defeating Switzerland's Ralph Stöckli in the semifinal and Garry MacKay of Scotland in the final to win the gold medal.

For their third championship run, Team Morris replaced Ormsby with Jason Young at second. At the 1999 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, Morris led the team to an 8–4 round robin record, in a three-way tie for second. He again had to fight through a tiebreaker to win the championship, downing Alberta's Jeff Erickson before defeating Newfoundland's Brad Gushue in the semifinal and British Columbia's Jeff Richard in the final. At the 1999 World Junior Curling Championships, he led Canada to an 8–1 round robin record (first place), and beat Sweden's Patric Håkansson in the semifinal and Christian Haller of Switzerland in the final to win the gold medal. [9]

In addition to his provincial junior titles, Morris won a provincial junior mixed title in 1999 with Jacqueline Smith, Brent Laing and Chrissy Cadorin. [10]

Early men's career in Ontario (1999–2003)

After living in Ottawa, Morris moved to Southwestern Ontario to attend Wilfrid Laurier University, and curled out of the Stayner Granite Club in Stayner, Ontario. [11] Despite the move, his team remained nearly intact, with Young being replaced by Andy Ormsby. In their first season after juniors, the team entered the playdowns for the 2000 Ontario Nokia Cup, the provincial men's championship, but lost in regionals. [12]

In 2000 Ormsby left the team and was replaced by Joe Frans, who would become the team's third, moving Savill to play second. The team won a couple of tour events, and made it to their first provincial championship, the 2001 Ontario Nokia Cup. After finishing the round robin with a 6–3 record, Morris defeated Team Glenn Howard in the semifinal before losing to Team Wayne Middaugh in the final.

The team qualified for the 2001 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where Morris garnered national attention after a difficult loss to Russ Howard. His team would finish the event with a 5–4 record, missing the playoffs. With many of the province's top teams ignoring the Brier playdowns in 2002 to focus on the new Grand Slam of Curling, Morris and his team had an easy path at the 2002 Ontario provincial championships. The team went 8–1 after the round robin, and beat Team Phil Daniel twice to win his first provincial title, qualifying him for the 2002 Nokia Brier. At the diluted Brier, Morris led his rink to an 8–3 round robin record, in second place. In the playoffs, they lost to Alberta's Randy Ferbey in the 1 vs. 2 game, but rebounded to defeat New Brunswick's Russ Howard in the semifinal. In the final, the team lost to Alberta in a rematch.

In 2003, the Morris rink would make it to the finals at the inaugural Canada Cup of Curling, where they lost to Randy Ferbey. The team played in another diluted provincial championship that year, the 2003 Ontario Nokia Cup. There, his rink finished the round robin in 2nd place with a 7–2 record. In the playoffs, they lost to the first place Bryan Cochrane rink and then to Peter Corner in the semifinal. The team finished the season at the 2003 Players' Championship Grand Slam, where they lost to Jeff Stoughton in the final. After the season, Morris moved to Calgary, where he played out of the Calgary Winter Club.

Move to Calgary (2003–2006)

After moving to Calgary, Morris assembled a new team, which would consist of Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy and Paul Moffatt. The team had some success on the Tour, winning a few events, including the 2004 Players' Championship Grand Slam. The team would play three seasons together, never winning a provincial championship, having to compete against teams like Randy Ferbey and Kevin Martin. The team would play in the 2005 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where they would finish the round robin with a 6–3 record, before losing to Jeff Stoughton in the semifinal.

Joining forces with "K-Mart" (2006–2013)

In 2006, Morris, the formerly dubbed "bad-boy of curling" joined forces with veteran skip Kevin Martin [13] on a four-year plan aimed at winning a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. [14] The team won the 2007 Kia Cup, the provincial championship, defeating Morris' former teammate, Kevin Koe in the final. On February 27, 2007 just four days before the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, Morris was hit by a car. He was knocked unconscious, but went on to compete at the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, where Alberta placed fourth after a loss to Jeff Stoughton in the 3–4 page playoff. [15] Morris later recovered by winning all-star third in the tournament. In their first season together on the tour, the team dominated, winning three of the four Grand Slam events, the Canadian Open, The National and the Players' Championship.

After winning the 2008 Boston Pizza Cup provincial championship, Morris and the Kevin Martin (Alberta) rink returned to the 2008 Brier in Winnipeg. Roughly a week before the Brier, Morris broke his right hand and subsequently had to wear a special brace while sweeping. [16] The event sidelined Morris from playing in the 2008 Canada Cup of Curling, where he was replaced by Kevin Park. [16] At the Brier, the Martin team went 11–0 in the round robin, and won their 1–2 playoff game to make the finals. In a game marred by tricky ice and missed opportunities, Alberta won by a score of 5–4. Morris was named MVP of the finals after curling 90%. At the following 2008 World Men's Curling Championship, Morris led all players with a round robin percentage of 90%, and helped team Canada to a World Championship crown; the first for any player on the team. On the tour that season, the team won two Grand Slams, the Canadian Open and the National.

The next season, the team won the 2009 Boston Pizza Cup and represented Alberta at the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier, where the team won their second straight title. At the 2009 Ford World Men's Curling Championship, the team would lose in the final to Scotland's David Murdoch. Also that season, the team would win the 2009 Canada Cup of Curling.

The team qualified for the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where Morris and Team Martin would win the right to represent Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. On February 27 at the Vancouver Olympics, Team Martin won the gold medal with a score of 6–3 in the final against Thomas Ulsrud of Norway. [17] On the tour that season, the team would win the 2010 BDO Classic Canadian Open and the 2010 Players' Championship.

Morris represented Alberta at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier with Team Martin after winning the provincials. They finished with a 9–2 win-loss record, but dropped their page playoff game against Ontario's Glenn Howard and lost the bronze medal game against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador. In Grand Slam play, the team would win the December 2010 National and the 2011 Players' Championship.

In the 2011–12 curling season, Morris and the rest of the team won the Canada Cup of Curling over Glenn Howard, giving them a berth into the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. They participated in the 2012 Alberta provincials, but struggled against Kevin Koe and Brock Virtue, eventually losing the semifinal to Virtue.

Team Martin was unable to defend their Canada Cup title in 2012, finishing outside of the playoffs. Morris subbed in as skip for an injured Martin at the Canadian Open of Curling, and played with former teammate Joe Frans, finishing with a 2–3 win-loss record. After Martin recovered, the team went to the 2013 provincials, where a close win over Kevin Koe in the final gave them the right to represent the home team Alberta at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier. The team went to the Players' Championship, where they finished with a 2–2 win-loss record, and they advanced to a tiebreaker, where they lost to John Epping. A few days after the conclusion of the Players' Championship, on 24 April 2013, Morris announced that he and Martin were parting ways. [18] One week later, it was announced that Morris would join Jim Cotter and his team for the 2013–14 season. [19] [20]

Team changes and another Olympics (2013–2018)

Morris found immediate success with the Cotter rink, skipping the team (which also consisted of Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky) out of the Kelowna Curling Club, and throwing third rocks. The team qualified for the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials through the pre-trials event, only to lose in the final to the Brad Jacobs team that would go on to win the Olympic gold medal. Following that the team went undefeated en route to winning the 2014 British Columbia provincial championship and the right to represent the province at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier. This made Morris one of only three curlers to have played for three different provinces at the Brier, joining his father Earle and Ryan Fry. [21] After posting a 9–2 round robin record, Morris' B.C. rink defeated Alberta (skipped by former teammate Kevin Koe) in the 1 vs. 2 game, before losing to Alberta in a rematch final, 10–5. [22]

Rule changes implemented for the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier meant that for the first time defending Brier champions will be afforded an automatic entry in the following year's Brier. For the 2015 Brier this entry would normally have gone to Koe, however, in the 2014 off-season Koe announced he was leaving his team to form a new team. Under CCA rules, this left Koe's former teammates (Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen) with the automatic entry for the 2015 Brier. Koe's former teammates subsequently recruited Morris to skip them, thus ensuring that Morris, despite being the 2014 Brier runner-up, would skip the first-ever Team Canada entry in a Brier.

After Team Canada started off 2–3 Morris approached third Pat Simmons with the idea that Simmons skip and Morris move to vice. [23] The move paid off as the rink went on to win the Canadian championship; they won the bronze (third place) medal at the 2015 world championships in Halifax.

The Brier win in 2015 meant the team would return for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier to represent Team Canada. The team would struggle at the event, missing the playoffs with a 6–5 record. They would disband after the season.

Morris at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa. John Morris 2016 Brier.jpg
Morris at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa.

In 2016, Morris returned to play with Jim Cotter's British Columbia-based team, skipping the rink, while Cotter threw fourth stones. The team would win the 2017 belairdirect BC Men's Curling Championship, giving the team the right to represent British Columbia at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. There, Morris led the team to a 7–4 record, missing the playoffs. On the tour, the team won one Grand Slam event, the 2017 Elite 10.

The team began the 2017–18 season with Morris throwing last rocks and skipping, and Cotter at third. The team qualified for the 2017 Olympic Pre-Trials, which the team qualified out of despite a 3–3 pool record. This put the team into the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, where the team would struggle. The team experimented with Morris throwing third again, but it was to no avail, and the team finished with a 3–5 round robin record.

In 2018 Morris joined up with Kaitlyn Lawes to win the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Olympic Trials to return to the Winter Olympics, this time in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the mixed doubles made its debut. Morris had been playing with Rachel Homan in pre-trials events, but had to find a new partner after Homan became ineligible when her women's team won the right to represent Canada in the Olympic women's event. [24] Morris and Lawes won the gold, defeating Switzerland in the final.

Post Olympics (2018–2020)

After the Olympics, Morris said he planned to focus on the mixed doubles discipline rather than the team event. He and Lawes committed to playing for at least two more seasons together. [25] However, the two only competed together for one season in 2018–19, winning the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Classic [26] and making the quarterfinals in the Qualico Mixed Doubles Classic. [27] They were unable to compete at the 2019 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, as Lawes had sustained an injury at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. [28] During the 2019–20 curling season, [29] Morris played with several different mixed doubles partners, placing 2nd in the Colorado Curling Cup with Kira Brunton, [30] placing 3rd in the MadTown DoubleDown and 5th in the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Championship with Jolene Campbell, [31] [32] placing 3rd in the Brantford Mixed Doubles Cashspiel with Sarah Anderson, [33] and winning the Qualico Mixed Doubles Classic with Rachel Homan. [34]

After John Epping and his rink won the 2020 Ontario Tankard, they announced they would be taking Morris as their alternate to the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier. At the Brier, the team finished the championship pool with a 7–4 record and in a four-way tie for fourth place. They defeated Team Wild Card (Mike McEwen) in the first tiebreaker before losing to Northern Ontario (Brad Jacobs) in the second and being eliminated from contention. Morris got to play in the last two ends of the second tiebreaker against Jacobs, replacing Fry as they were already down 6–3 without the hammer.

On March 16, 2020, Team Kevin Koe announced they would be parting ways with their second Colton Flasch. [35] The following day, the team announced they would be adding Morris to their lineup as their new second. [36] Morris spared for the team at the 2019 Tour Challenge Grand Slam event, where they made it to the semifinals. Team Koe began the 2020–21 season at the McKee Homes Fall Curling Classic where they lost in the quarterfinals. Their next three events included a semifinal finish at the Ashley HomeStore Curling Classic [37] and two runner-up finishes at both the ATB Banff Classic and the ATB Okotoks Classic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta, the 2021 provincial championship was cancelled. As the reigning provincials champions, Team Brendan Bottcher was chosen to represent Alberta at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier. [38] However, due to many provinces cancelling their provincial championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, Curling Canada added three Wild Card teams to the national championship, which were based on the CTRS standings from the 2019–20 season. [39] Because Team Koe ranked 6th on the CTRS [40] and kept at least three of their four players together for the 2020–21 season, they got the second Wild Card spot at the 2021 Brier in Calgary, Alberta. [41]

Grand Slam record

Key
CChampion
FLost in Final
SFLost in Semifinal
QFLost in Quarterfinals
R16Lost in the round of 16
QDid not advance to playoffs
T2Played in Tier 2 event
DNPDid not participate in event
N/ANot a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Elite 10 N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ADNPDNP C DNPDNPN/A
Tour Challenge N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ADNP QF Q DNP SF [lower-alpha 1]
Masters DNPQFQQF SF QF QF QF QF SF SF DNP Q Q Q Q DNPDNP
The National DNPDNPQF Q C C SF Q C F SF DNP QF QF QF Q DNPDNP
Canadian Open DNPDNP SF F C C F C QF QF DNP Q Q Q SF Q DNPDNP
Players' F C Q QF C F SF C C SF Q DNPDNPDNP Q DNPDNPN/A
Champions Cup N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/ADNP QF Q QF [lower-alpha 2] N/A

Personal life

Morris, a certified personal trainer, currently serves as a full-time firefighter for the Chestermere & Rocky View Fire County Service, [42] living in Canmore, Alberta. [43] [44] Drawing on his degree in Kinesiology from Wilfrid Laurier University, [5] in 2009 Morris co-authored the book Fit to Curl, a sport-specific training manual. [45] As of 2016, Morris is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. [46] [47] Morris attended high school at Colonel By Secondary School in Gloucester, Ontario and played hockey, softball, volleyball, soccer and little league baseball in his youth. [48]

Morris has been a 'big brother' with Calgary and area BBBS since 2011. [49]

Morris is the third generation of his family to compete in the Brier. As well as his father Earle, his great-grandfather Cliff McLachlan skipped Saskatchewan in the 1933 Macdonald Brier. [21]

In 2010, Morris was featured by ET Canada in a Valentines special as one of Canada's most eligible bachelors. [50] However, he proposed to his girlfriend Maggie and the two had a son together in 2018. [44] They had another child in 2019. [4]

Teams

From left: Kevin Martin, Morris, Marc Kennedy, Ben Hebert Team Martin.JPG
From left: Kevin Martin, Morris, Marc Kennedy, Ben Hebert
SeasonSkipThirdSecondLeadEvents
1993–94 [51] John Morris Mark Homan Mike Lilly Craig Savill / Damien Boland
1996–97John MorrisCraig Savill Matt St. Louis Mark Homan1997 CJCC
1997–98John MorrisCraig Savill Andy Ormsby Brent Laing 1998 CJC, WJCC
1998–99John MorrisCraig Savill Jason Young Brent Laing1999 CJCC, WJCC
1999-00John MorrisCraig SavillAndy OrmsbyBrent Laing
2000–01John Morris Joe Frans Craig SavillBrent Laing2001 Ont.
2001–02John MorrisJoe FransCraig SavillBrent Laing2001 COCT, 2002 Ont., Brier
2002–03John MorrisJoe FransCraig SavillBrent Laing2003 Ont., CC
2003–04John Morris Kevin Koe Marc Kennedy Paul Moffatt 2004 Alta., CC
2004–05John MorrisKevin KoeMarc KennedyPaul Moffatt2005 Alta., CC
2005–06John MorrisKevin KoeMarc KennedyPaul Moffatt2005 COCT, 2006 Alta., CC
2006–07 Kevin Martin John MorrisMarc Kennedy Ben Hebert 2007 Alta., CC, Brier
2007–08Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2008 Alta., Brier, WCC
2008–09Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2009 Alta., CC, Brier, WCC
2009–10Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2009 COCT, 2010 OG
2010–11Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2010 CC, 2011 Alta., Brier
2011–12Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2011 CC
2012–13Kevin MartinJohn MorrisMarc KennedyBen Hebert2012 CC, 2013 Alta., Brier
2013–14 Jim Cotter (fourth)John Morris (skip) Tyrel Griffith Rick Sawatsky 2013 RTTR, COCT, 2014 BC, Brier
2014–15John Morris / Pat Simmons Pat Simmons / John Morris Carter Rycroft
Scott Bailey
Nolan Thiessen 2014 CC, 2015 Brier, WCC
2015–16Pat SimmonsJohn MorrisCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen 2015 CC, 2016 Brier
2016–17Jim Cotter (fourth)John Morris (skip)Tyrel GriffithRick Sawatsky 2017 BC, Brier
2017–18Jim Cotter (fourth) / John MorrisJohn Morris (skip) / Jim Cotter Catlin Schneider Tyrel Griffith 2017 RTTR, COCT
2020–21 [52] Kevin Koe B. J. Neufeld John MorrisBen Hebert

Awards

Notes

  1. Morris spared for B. J. Neufeld, who was on paternity leave.
  2. Morris spared for John Shuster, who was competing at the 2019 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

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References

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