GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics don’t officially open until Friday but a couple of Canadians were already in competition mode Thursday.
Doubles curlers John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes opened the Games with a disappointing 9-6 loss to Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten.
The event is making its debut in Pyeongchang, and despite Canada’s curling dominance, the country isn’t considered the gold-medal favourite.
Both Ottawa’s Morris and Winnipeg’s Lawes are Olympic gold medallists in curling but they had little experience playing mixed doubles together prior to winning January’s trials.
Wednesday’s game was a nail-biter to the finish as the Norwegians stole two in the eighth end to seal the victory.
“Obviously wanted to start off with a win, but it’s a long week thankfully,” said Lawes. “We’ll come back stronger.
Lawes said she and Morris had “a couple key misses here and there.”
“If we can turn those full misses into at least half shots then we’ll have a little bit more success,” she added.
Morris said he and Lawes are still figuring out the ice.
“The ice was nice and consistent, but I have to make sure I throw to my tolerance a bit more so that if I do miss, it’s not a killer miss,” he said.
Thursday morning, Canada defeated the USA 6-4 to improve to 1 and 1.
Morris, 39, won Olympic gold in 2010 playing third for Kevin Martin. Lawes, 29, won gold in 2014 as vice for Jennifer Jones.