Canadian curling champ Jill Officer credits a lifetime of physical activity for much of her success.
Sure, she knows that working out is good. But more than just that, she says, sport has made her a better person in every aspect of life.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself, not only as an athlete, but as a person,” says Officer. “I’ve learned what is important for me to be at my best — sleep, nutrition, general health and fitness. It all goes together.”
And how. Officer, 38, is now on her way to the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February, as part of the Canadian women’s Olympic curling team led by skip Jennifer Jones.
Growing up in Winnipeg, Man., Officer grew up in an active family — her father played and coached hockey — and she’s been playing sports since she was very young. She took figure skating lessons, gymnastics, baton and soccer, to name just a few. “Soccer, I played until I was an adult, but most sports I did, I only did them for a couple of years.”
She was 10 when she tried curling for the first time. “I was always hanging around a curling club or a hockey rink, so I was bound to take up one of those sports,” she says with a laugh.
“My mom put together a team for me, and I started going to bonspiels.”
By the time she was 16 years old, she had started curling with Jones, and the rest, as the expression goes, is history. They won the prestigious Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2005, 2008, 2009, and 2010, and in 2008, they won the World Women’s Curling Championship.
Now the proud mom of a two-year-old daughter, Officer isn’t just thinking about her own physical literacy. She’s starting to put the pieces in place so her daughter can enjoy a lifetime of sport, too.
“She already took a swimming class,” Officer says. “And we make sure she gets some sort of physical activity every day.”
Image © Canadian Curling Association