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Manitoba Olympian says equal pay is something ‘all curlers’ believe in

Manitoba second Jill Officer smiles while taking on B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C., on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. .
Manitoba second Jill Officer smiles while taking on B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton, B.C., on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

It’s good news for Canadian women curlers: the champions of the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion will receive the same prize money as their male equivalents at the Brier.

Curling Canada’s CEO, Katherine Henderson, said Sunday the winning team of each tournament will take home $105,000 – a far cry from previous years when the women brought home just over half the prize money as the men’s champion.

Former Olympic curler Jill Officer told 680 CJOB pay equity is something all Canadian curlers believe in.

READ MORE: Canadian men’s, women’s curling teams to play for same championship prize money in 2020

“I was just at athlete commission meetings for the World Curling Federation last weekend, and we spent two to three days together as a group, and nobody says anything remotely (negative) or asks any questions about that,” she said.

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“It’s almost a given in our sport that it should be equal.”

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A decorated curler with Olympic gold and multiple World Championship and Scotties wins on her resume, Officer said the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is the last major curling tournament to go the equal pay route.

While she admitted there may be some smaller tour events that still haven’t switched over to equal pay, the last major tournament becoming equal is a huge step in the right direction.

“I think we knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time. I think it came a little bit sooner than I anticipated, so it was really, really great to see.”

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Officer said she hopes Curling Canada’s decision influences other athletic organizations nationwide.

“Curling has been a leader in this area, and hopefully other sports will follow suit,” she said.

Jill Officer discusses why she’s taking a step back from curling
Jill Officer discusses why she’s taking a step back from curling