Official Website of Team Jennifer Jones. 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists in women's Curling. Skip - Jennifer Jones, Third - Kaitlyn Lawes, Second - Jill Officer, Lead - Dawn McEwen

Regina curling fan meets her idol Jennifer Jones

By Mark Melnychuk, Leader-Post February 19, 2015 5:54 AM

Gabrielle Wuschke, a 17-year-old Regina teen with cerebral palsy, got a chance to meet team Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones while at the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw. Wuschke has been a fan of Jones for the past 10 years.  

Gabrielle Wuschke, a 17-year-old Regina teen with cerebral palsy, got a chance to meet team Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones while at the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw. Wuschke has been a fan of Jones for the past 10 years. 

MOOSE JAW — On Tuesday, Gabrielle Wuschke finally got to meet her hero.

Wuschke, 17, has been diehard curling fan for the past 10 years, and follows the sport with her grandfather Howard. Her favourite player is Team Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones, whom Wuschke has rooted for “from day one” of her curling fandom.

Wuschke, who is a Grade 12 student at FW Johnson Collegiate in Regina, was born with cerebral palsy. In addition to having no use of her right hand and limited use of her left, Wuschke is confined to a wheelchair. In 2013, she sent an application to the Sunshine Foundation, a charity organization which grants wishes to seriously ill and physically challenged children. Her wish was to attend the 2014 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Montreal, Que. so she could see Jones. Although she got to go, Wuschke was unable to meet Jones, who was in Sochi, Russia competing at the Winter Olympics.

However, Wuschke’s grandmother, Beatrice, sent a letter to Jones’ mother, Carol, telling the family about Wuschke’s dream to meet her idol. Jones replied by mailing Wuschke the jersey she wore during the Olympic curling trials, the jacket she wore at the 2008 Scotties in Regina, signed photos of the team and a personal letter.

“In that letter she stated that Gabby was an inspiration to her, and also that someday they would meet,” said Gabrielle’s mother, Tracey Wuschke.

On Tuesday, that day finally came. Wearing Jones’ Olympic trials jersey and Scotties jacket, Gabrielle got to see her dream become a reality during an autograph session at the 2015 Scotties in Moose Jaw.

“She (Jones) came running around the table and gave Gabby a big hug,” said Howard.

“She was very very friendly. Jennifer acted like she could almost hardly wait for it too,” he said.

Gabrielle still has trouble finding the words to describe how excited she was.

“I can’t even explain it,” she said.

“I was more excited than nervous.”

Tracey said the family had been riding on an emotional high in anticipation of meeting Jones. The family has been travelling to the tournament in Moose Jaw from Regina each day.

“Gabby was so excited. You don’t sleep much the night before when you’re finally going to have your dream come true,” she said.

“As a mother of course I had tears as Gabby and Jennifer were hugging ... and Jennifer said ‘Stop by and say hi whenever you see me,’” said Tracey.

Tracey said the family understands how busy Jones is with her curling career, and are thankful for her effort to make a young fan’s dream come true.

“We didn’t expect a lot. We know that she has to stay focused on her curling ... but to take the time and reach out to Gabby is wonderful,” said Tracey.

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

MSSA Honors Top Performers Of 2014


Winnipeg, MB, Canada / 680 CJOB - Winnipeg's News & Information Leader

Kelly Moore

January 26, 2015


Memories of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi were front and center during the 59th Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Dinner at the Delta Hotel on Sunday Night.

A trio of Gold Medal winners took home the top honors as Jonathan Toews, Jocelyne Laroque, and Jennifer Jones were named the Male/Female Athlete and Team of the Year respectively in a vote among MSSA members.

Photo Courtesy of MSSA

Photo Courtesy of MSSA

Toews narrowly edged out Ryan Fry of the Brad Jacobs rink and U of M Bisons Receiver Nic Demski for his 4th Male Athlete of the Year Award.

Toews had 12 first place votes and 142 points, Fry had 11 firsts and 136 points, while Demski was third with 13 first choices and 135 points.  Other male finalists were William Kohler, who led the Manitoba Under-17 basketball team to the Canadian title, and Manitoba’s golfer-of-the-year Bret Thompson.

The Chicago Blackhawk captain scored the winning goal in Canada’s 3-0 gold medal victory over Sweden in the Olympic final, and became the third player in Blackhawk history to record more than 20 goals and 40 assists in each of his first seven NHL seasons. He had 68 points in 76 regular season games, plus a career-high nine goals and eight assists in last season’s playoffs including four game-winning goals.

Larocque was named to the women’s Olympic team for the first time and scored Canada’s first goal of the tournament. The native of Ste. Anne also anchored the Team Canada blue line and logged more than 25 minutes of playing time in the dramatic overtime win versus the United States.

Larocque received 14 first place votes and 132 points, topping Brandon born UBC Volleyballer Lisa Barclay with 123, and outstanding Manitoba Bison volleyball player Taylor Pischke at 110 points.It was the second straight year for Barclay, the CIS women’s volleyball Player of the Year, to finish second in the MSSA voting.  Jennifer Saunders, who won her eighth national women’s singles championship to become the most winning female player in Canadian racquetball history, and rugby’s Mandy Marchak, a member of Canada’s World Cup runner-up team, were the other finalists for the provincial female athlete award.

The Jones foursome had a perfect 9-0 record enroute to capturing Olympic gold, capped off by a a 6-3 victory in the final over Margaretha Sigfridsson of Sweden.  It was the first unbeaten run to the gold medal for a team in Olympic curling competition.

The Jones team was selected first on 34 of the 36 final sports media ballots, and had a runaway total of 173 points on the one-to-five point voting process.  The University of Manitoba national champion women’s volleyball team received the other two first place votes, and was the runner-up with a distant 129 points.  Other finalists for the Maurice Smith Memorial trophy were the Mike McEwen curling team, the Team Manitoba Under-17 national champion basketball team, and the Canadian champion University of Manitoba men’s golf team.

The recognition for the Jones team’s impressive march to gold in the Olympics continued throughout the year, and was the consensus choice for the 2014 Cactus Jack Wells Memorial Award for major impact on the provincial sports scene.

Bison football coach Brian Dobie received the Dallis Beck Memorial Good Guy Award for his exceptional multi-year relationship with the Manitoba sports media.  Bison volleyball coaches Garth Pischke and Ken Bentley received special recognition for their longtime dedication and  commitment, and retired CBC sportscaster Ernie Nairn was saluted for his excellent contributions to sport over many years in Manitoba.

The MSSA also inducted Brandon Wheat King play-by-play voice Bruce Luebke of CKLQ, and former Winnipeg Tribune and Winnipeg Sun sportswriter Patti Dawn Swansson into the Manitoba Media Roll of Honour for their dedicated service in sports journalism.

The MSSA Jack Matheson Memorial Awards, established to provide financial funding to sports media aspirants, honour the memory of the former Winnipeg Tribune sports editor and CJOB commentator.  Two were presented at the dinner to Zach Peters and Scott Billeck, who are students in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.



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