GRAEME BRUCE/BRANDON SUN
Six-year-old Ella Howe takes a close look at the gold medal won by former Brandon resident Jill Officer who was signing autographs at Shoppers Mall on Saturday. Officer was part of Canada’s women’s curling team at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Brandon has a strong connection to one of Canada’s gold medals won at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Olympic gold medallist and former Brandon resident Jill Officer signed autographs and posed for pictures at Shoppers Mall on Saturday afternoon. (GRAEME BRUCE/BRANDON SUN)
Winnipeg’s Jill Officer, who worked at the now-shuttered CKX-TV station in Brandon for several years, was in town to sign autographs and pose for pictures with her Olympic hardware at Shoppers Mall on Saturday.
"I came out here in 2001 to work at CKX-TV and I didn’t think I’d be here for more than six months or a year and I was here for six and a half years," she said.
Officer won the gold medal with the Canadian women’s curling team skipped by Jennifer Jones at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in February.
"I made a lot of friends and a lot of ties to Brandon, and I truly love coming back here to see the community, see how it’s changed and see those friends," she said.
A steady stream of people lined up at the mall to catch a glimpse of the gold medal and with its detailed etchings, it rewards a closer look.
"It has a life of its own," Officer said.
"When you pull the medal out, it’s a whole new ball game, it’s very interesting and very cool and I’m happy to share it with people."
Officer was also in town as part of the RBC Royal Bank Olympic program as a dignitary at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair on Friday.
"The people were really happy to see me back in town," she said.
Officer, along with her team, is still on a whirlwind tour that started the day after the team landed back on Canadian soil when the team announced they would be presenters at the Juno Awards in Winnipeg at the end of March.
"It was great to be part of it, get all dolled up and be part of a great event in Winnipeg," she said.
The Junos was also a homecoming of sorts for the team. The award show was the first time they had been back in the MTS Centre after winning the Olympic trials at the arena in December.
"The response we got at the arena was so out of this world," she said.
Officer and her teammates presented the Fan Choice Award at the Junos, which went to an absent Justin Bieber — and a win that drew boos from the crowd.
"I didn’t anticipate the boos for Bieber, but it got us on TMZ I guess," she said laughing, but added it didn’t take away from the experience.
"The whole Juno experience was amazing," she said.
"It caught us off guard. I felt a little bit bad for him."
In preparation for their last event of the season in P.E.I. later this month, Officer and her teammates have been shoehorning ice time into their hectic schedule of public appearances.
Officer is off to Yorkton, Sask., this week.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 7, 2014