Kaitlyn Lawes slides into curling history by qualifying for second Olympics

John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes are joined by coach Jeff Stoughton as they're officially introduced as Canada's Olympic mixed doubles curling team. Mitch Rosset / Global News

WINNIPEG – It isn’t hard to see just how big of a part the Olympics are of Kaitlyn Lawes’ life. The Winnipeg curler is rarely seen without her necklace of the five Olympic rings. A piece of jewellery she got following her first Winter Games in 2014.

At the time, Lawes said playing in the Olympics was a dream come true. Something she’ll get to do again.

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Lawes qualified for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games by winning the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials in Portage la Prairie on Sunday. The victory also makes her the first Canadian curler to advance to back-to-back Olympics.

“To go once is a huge honour,” Lawes said. “I’m just so thrilled to have this opportunity again.”

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Lawes grabbed gold at her first Olympics four years ago in Sochi. It’s because of that experience John Morris chose her as his teammate for the trials.

“(She) is just a fantastic curler,” Morris said. “She’s been through those high-pressure games before. She’s a really great competitor.”

RELATED: Manitobans to curl for Canada at 2018 Paralympics

But also an amazing ambassador – both on and off the ice.

“She’s there to help out where she can to promote the game,” CurlManitoba Executive Director Craig Baker said. “She’s done some development programs for us. Just who she is is something we’re excited about.”

HECTIC HACK: Despite having just played 13 games in six days, Lawes is still heading to the provincial Scotties. She’ll join Team Jennifer Jones in Killarney on Tuesday for the Manitoba women’s curling championship. They’ll then head to Camrose, AB the following week to compete in the Grand Slam of Curling’s Canadian Open. Lawes will not be able to participate in the national Scotties if her rink qualifies as she’ll be busy preparing for the Olympics.

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