(Photo: Skip Brad Jacobs cuts a cake as his teammates look on during a celebration at OLG on February 27, 2014. Photo/Kenneth Armstrong)
Now that the team has been back in Sault Ste. Marie for the better part of a week, Team Jacobs have had a chance to reflect on their Olympic experience in Sochi, Russia.
“Every time we passed another Canadian athlete, wether we knew them or not we always said hi, waved or nodded,” said Skip Brad Jacobs during an OLG event at Roberta Bondar Place on Thursday.
Jacobs continues, “I’d actually look ahead to see if there were any Canadians coming. Obviously we met a lot of athletes, everyone shares the same goal and there’s an instant bond there.”
Many of the team members found inspiration in those other Canadian athletes in the village.
“What (Kaillie) Humphries and (Heather) Moyse did… They made history,” said Ryan Fry. “They’re fiery competitors and being able to become friends with them and seeing how dedicated they are, it’s something to strive for.”
Fry regrets staying back and not taking in the women’s hockey final with the rest of his team, “one of my bad decisions of the Olympics, I was tired that night and stayed behind to watch it on TV.”
The team took those inspirations with them into their gold medal match against Great Britain.
Many curling fans hoped for a rematch of the 2013 world championship final against Team Edin of Sweden.
Looking back, E.J. Harnden agrees it would have been a great match, though he has no regrets on how it turned out.
“I think in our minds we were hoping for that rematch just because of what it would mean to us to get one back, so to speak, after losing to them in the world championship finals. It truly shouldn’t matter, you’re playing against yourself and your own performance.“
Harnden adds, “we knew going into that (gold medal) game that we weren’t going to be denied. we tasted the defeat in the world championships the year prior and used that as experience, it didn’t matter who we were playing, nobody was going to take that away from us.”
The team kept in touch with friends and family via social media and saw the support they had at home in Sault Ste, Marie.
Speaking about seeing photos of his co-workers at OLG watching early-morning games, Harnden says “I know they’re just as sleep-deprived as we are and went on just as much of an emotional roller coaster as we did.”
The team crossed the Atlantic ocean on the same airplane as Jennifer Jones’ gold-winning women’s curling team.
As for getting the medals through airport security, Jacobs said the team had no issues “We kept them in our carry-ons, mine was safe in it’s case.”
Jacobs says that the homecoming the team received at the Sault Ste Marie Airport was overwhelming, but he really felt at home once he and his wife Shawna stepped into their house.
“When me and my wife walked in the front door of my house, that was one of the best feelings of all time.”