John Morris, better known in curling as Johnny Mo, has thrown his last stone for Kevin Martin's Olympic gold medal-winning rink.
Morris, the Alberta fireman and shot-maker extraordinaire, announced Wednesday he was leaving Martin's rink after seven years, two Brier championships and a world championship. The decision, according to a statement from Morris, was simply necessary.
"Unfortunately we have had a challenging past few seasons and have not lived up to our expectations of being the best curling team in the world," Morris stated. "As much as we've all tried very hard to find a way to fight back and get better, in the end it was obvious that we needed a change. Myself and Kevin were no longer thriving in our back-end role like we did in our 2010 Olympic gold-medal run."
Morris and Martin teamed with second Marc Kennedy and lead Ben Hebert prior to the 2006-07 season. They went on to win the 2008 and 2009 Briers, both with undefeated records, along with the 2008 world title. They then won Olympic gold in Vancouver with another undefeated showing.
At the 2013 Brier in Edmonton, the Martin rink started slowly, missing key shots before staging a late comeback bid that fell short.
While there was no word on what Morris will do next – there are rumours he may skip his own rink – Martin said his remaining rinkmates would carry on and "be back in the fall ready to continue our run towards the Sochi Olympics."