SUMMERSIDE – There is no more intense competitor on the ice than John Morris.
But off the ice, Morris enjoys engaging with fans and learning about the community he is curling in. Last week, that was the City of Summerside.
“The people here have been fantastic, really great people, very friendly,” said Morris. “They have been here to help us in any way they can to make our experience as good as we can.”
Morris and his Vernon, B.C., rink of third stone Jim Cotter, second stone Catlin Schneider and lead Tyrel Griffith are heading to the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifying event in Ottawa from Dec. 2 to 10 after securing one of the two men’s berths at the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar Pre-Trials event at Eastlink Arena.
Although Morris and his team had to go through the final qualifying event to reach the Olympic trials – an event he finished runner-up to Brad Jacobs in four years ago – he feels his rink is peaking at the right time, and is confident they can win the right to wear Canada’s colours at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February.
“Of course, we are 100 per cent convinced we can win this, or else I wouldn’t be curling,” said Morris after securing his spot with a 4-3 win over Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher on Sunday morning.
Curling is a fan friendly sport as all the curlers during the seven-day event were very gracious in signing autographs, posing for photos and talking with fans. Team Morris was no different, and it’s something the skip really enjoys.
“We’ve almost been like a hometown team because we have made some great friends out here,” said Morris, whose team stayed right in the City of Summerside.
“At this stage in my career I try not to get too into the event that I don’t take in the (local) atmosphere,” continued Morris. “We went to the farmers market (Saturday), and it was nice to get a sense of the atmosphere and environment here in Summerside. I absolutely love it, I think it’s one of the great places in Canada.”
Morris made a point to recognize the fans, volunteers and ice-making crew who dedicated “a lot of hours” to making the Road to the Roar what is being termed a very successful event by Curling Canada officials.
“It really made a difference, all that positive energy they put in,” emphasized Morris.