Jeff Stoughton and Stefanie Lawton now one step closer to Olympic berth

A win at the Capital One Canada Cup is only the first step towards a much bigger goal for both Jeff Stoughton and Stefanie Lawton.

The Canadian skips were able to lead their teams to victory in the men's and women's finals respectively over the weekend and now have earned themselves spots in the Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials set to take place in Winnipeg in December 2013.

If Stoughton and Lawton can pull off victories then, they'll both have the chance to represent Canada at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

"It's been a tough grind this last week and I'm really proud of the guys," Stoughton told the Canadian Press after claiming the Canada Cup Sunday. "I think it's going to hit us in the next week that we finally did it and we don't have to worry about anything at all for the rest of the year. Of course we want to go back to the Brier, but I think it's going to be less stressful because we've got this spot. So yeah, it's a relief.

"It's great that we peaked and performed at the right time at the right place. It's a great feeling."

As Don Landry wrote in a story for Yahoo! Sports last week, 2011 Canada Cup winners Kevin Marin and Jennifer Jones have already earned their spots at the Olympic trials along with Glenn Howard and Heather Nedohin who topped the Canadian Curling Association rankings this year.

Stoughton defeated Howard 4-3 in the men's final on Sunday while Lawton outlasted skip Kaitlyn Lawes (who was handling skip duties for Jones who is currently on maternity leave and recovering from knee surgery) en route to a 6-4 victory.

Lawton was also excited about earning a berth in the Olympic trials.

"It's huge," she told the Canadian Press after clinching a spot. "You count points all year — the last couple of years — to get that berth. We don't have to worry about counting points, and where you're ranking ... For sure, that feels really good."

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