Canada eyes gold-medal double in Olympic curling

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 5:34 pm •  Published: February 20, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — One down, one to go. Over to you, Brad.

Canada is halfway to a gold-medal double in Olympic curling after its women's team completed an undefeated campaign with a 6-3 victory over Sweden in Thursday's final.

Now it's the turn of Brad Jacobs' men's rink to handle the pressure of Canada's lofty expectations. They will be big favorites in the gold-medal game against Britain on Friday, when the Canadians go in search of a third straight Olympic men's title.

"Jennifer Jones' team has steamrollered the field and it's been awesome to see," Jacobs said. "Every time they win, we want to come back as well and stick with them. It's great for curling in Canada."

Jacobs arrived in Sochi as Canadian curling's new big thing after a breakthrough 2013 when his team won the national championship, then swept the Olympic trials unbeaten. No team had ever done that — no mean feat in the sport's hotbed, where curling is the No. 2 sport behind ice hockey.

Yet in their first tournament outside Canada, Jacobs and his teammates — brothers E.J. and Ryan Harnden and Ryan Fry — took their time to get going. They lost two of their first three games in the round robin, and it took a heart-to-heart and some video clips of their brilliant displays in the Olympic trials to pump them up.

After that, the Canadians won seven straight games, including a 10-6 win over emerging China in the semifinal, and have looked more like the class of 2013.