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A hero's welcome for Team Jacobs (photos, video link added)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013   by: Donna Hopper

It was a hero's welcome at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport tonight as a crowd of fans, friends and family gathered to greet Team Jacobs upon its return from Winnipeg.

Skip Brad Jacobs, third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden, and coach Tom Coulterman put the Sault on the world map by dominating the Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials and will represent Canada in February during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Jacobs rink was undefeated throughout the competition, something no team had ever done.

"I don't think anybody expected to be undefeated," Jacobs told reporters at the Airport this evening. "To do it in the fashion that we did… it's pretty crazy."

Since the team's victory, the lads have barely had time relax let alone time for the realization that they're now officially Olympians to sink in.

And even with the team's upward trajectory over the last year - first winning the 2013 Tim Horton's Brier, then taking home silver from the World Men's Curling Championships - earning the privilege to represent Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympics was unexpected.

Hoped for, but unexpected.

"[Reaching the Olympics is] something you hope to accomplish. The fact that we've done it, it's incredible. It goes to show how special this team is," said Jacobs.

Slipping on that Team Canada jacket at the end of the championship game this past weekend was a feeling Jacobs could not put into words.

"The jacket fit real nice, I'll say that," he laughed.

Looking forward, Jacobs and teammates remain confident and plan to maintain the training regiment that has proven effective thus far - a careful balance of practice and rest.

They're also fully aware of the tough competition awaiting them in Sochi.

"The goal is gold. Coming back with anything less would be a disappointment as much as it would be for any Canadian," he said. "[We'll be facing] a lot of the same teams we played last year at the World Championships. So we're definitely looking forward to getting another crack at all those teams."

After a few well-deserved days of rest at home, Team Jacobs will head to Calgary for Olympic preparations before traveling to Las Vegas for the Continental Cup of Curling in January.

Men's Olympic curling gets underway in Sochi on February 10, 2014.

Following the boisterous airport welcome tonight for our hometown Olympians, Team Jacobs via police escort, toured to the Soo Curlers Association on Anita Blvd. for an equally boisterous reception.

To read about and view photos from that event, please click here

To watch video of the celebrations and an interview with Jim Cronin and Brad Jacobs from Soo Curlers Association, click here

Click the link below to view photos from the airport arrival.

View Photo Gallery for this Story

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Briar 12/10/2013 11:50:42 PM Report

We are so proud of this outstandinng team and their accomplishments. Thank you Brad, Ryan, E J and Ryan for showing that hard work, and determination can accomplish so much. You have made Soo Curlers and Sault Ste. Marie so proud.
Norm 12/11/2013 10:39:17 PM Report

Wonderful achievement, and an equally wonderful story.
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