Peter Baxter, the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Wilfred Laurier University, says it’s a proud moment for the area and the country.
This comes after the “dominant” gold medal performance by alum John Morris and his partner Kaitlyn Lawes.
They captured the first ever mixed doubles curling gold at the Olympics Tuesday morning in South Korea with a 10-3 win over Switzerland — with the handshakes coming after six ends of play.
“This speaks to curling at Laurier, curling at the K-W Granite Club, who gives us tremendous support and it’s great for Canada,” Baxter says on the win.
It was just two weeks ago that Morris and Lawes were having lunch with a group, including Baxter, at Wilf’s Restaurant & Bar on the university campus.
He says the two were fresh off qualifying for the Olympics at the Canad Inns Olympic trials in Manitoba, and were training at the K-W Granite Club before the trip overseas.
“They were pretty focused in on just getting ready to go for their experience,” Baxter says. “John and Kaitlyn, they’re very authentic people so they just wanted to enjoy the moment, but John is very competitive and wanted to win.”
And win they did in South Korea. The pair opened with a 9-6 loss to Norway. After that though, they put together an eight-game win streak to finish off the competition.
“This is a historic occasion for not only our Laurier community, but for all of Canada,” Baxter says. “Certainly want to congratulate John and Kaitlyn on this achievement.”
Also part of that lunch a couple weeks back was Stephen Wenn, Morris’ former professor and an Olympic historian.
“Stephen today, we were on the bike, just finished my workout and he’s pretty excited because one of his students now is part of [the] Olympic history that he writes,” Baxter recalls.
This is the second gold medal for both Morris and Lawes. Morris was part of the 2010 men’s foursome in Vancouver, led by Kevin Martin. Lawes won with the Jennifer Jones-led women’s team in Sochi in 2014.
But those at Laurier aren’t putting away the party hats anytime soon.
Another Laurier grad, Brent Laing, is part of Canada’s men’s foursome led by Kevin Koe.
The Koe rink begin their quest for Olympic gold Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET against Italy.