2000 Canadian Sport Awards
ALSO ON SLAM!
John Morris - Curling
Nominated by the Canadian Curling AssociationJohn Morris of Gloucester, Ont., became the only skip in the history of world junior curling to win back-to-back world championships and the only man to repeat since Canada's Paul Gowsell did it in 1976 and 1978.
Morris and his crew of Craig Savill of Kanata, Ont., Brent Lang of Meaford, Ont., and newcomer Jason Young of Wyoming, Ont., went into the 1999 worlds at Ostersund, Sweden, determined to record the repeat. They also wanted to preserve their undefeated streak, which had begun a year earlier. Switzerland proved to be the spoiler in the final game of the round robin, but when the two rinks met in the gold-medal game, Morris drew on his considerable skill and experience to win handily, 10-6.
It was a popular victory. Before the championships began, the Morris rink had visited several local schools to speak to the students. The result was a band of loyal student followers who came out to support the young Canadians throughout the event.
Morris's 1999 winning percentage of 95 at Ostersund was the best in the history of the world juniors. He was named All-Star Skip at both the worlds and the Canadian juniors.
Morris's record of 13-1 in sudden death situations demonstrates his remarkable ability to perform under pressure. On ice, he curls with confidence, taking risks strategically and usually playing on the offensive. Off ice, the human kinetics student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University is fun loving and enthusiastic. A talented baseball player, he competed at the 1993 national championships and plays for his university team as a middle relief pitcher. After graduation he hopes to attend teacher's college or do postgraduate work focusing on business.
Morris, who took up the sport as a five-year-old, comes by his passion for curling honestly. His father, Earle Morris, is the only skip to have represented three different provinces - Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario - at the Brier.