GANGNEUNG, South Korea — The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics don’t officially open until Friday but a couple of Canadians were already in competition mode Thursday.
Doubles curlers John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes opened the Games with a disappointing 9-6 loss to Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten.
The event is making its debut in Pyeongchang, and despite Canada’s curling dominance, the country isn’t considered the gold-medal favourite.
Ottawa’s Morris and Winnipeg’s Lawes are Olympic gold medallists in curling, but they had little experience playing mixed doubles together before winning January’s trials.
Wednesday’s game was a nail-biter to the finish as the Norwegians stole two in the eighth end to seal the victory.
“Obviously wanted to start off with a win, but it’s a long week thankfully,” Lawes said. “We’ll come back stronger.
Lawes said she and Morris had “a couple key misses here and there.”
“If we can turn those full misses into at least half shots then we’ll have a little bit more success,” she added.
Morris said he and Lawes are still figuring out the ice.
“The ice was nice and consistent, but I have to make sure I throw to my tolerance a bit more so that if I do miss, it’s not a killer miss,” he said.
Morris, 39, won Olympic gold in 2010 playing third for Kevin Martin. Lawes, 29, won gold in 2014 as vice for Jennifer Jones.
Also on Thursday, Canada’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis posted the fastest time in the first Olympic downhill training session.
Osborne-Paradis, from Invermere, B.C., finished in 1 minute 40.45 seconds in breezy, sunny conditions at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. He’s making his fourth appearance at the Winter Olympics.
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud was second in 1:40.76 and Switzerland’s Mauro Caviezel was third in 1:40.90.
Additional training sessions were scheduled for Friday and Saturday ahead of Sunday’s race.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2018, All Rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.