Since watching Rhona Martin win gold for Great Britain in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, Eve Muirhead has vowed to do the same in the sport.
At just 12 years old, Muirhead knew winning the gold in curling was what she wanted to do. “From that moment, it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to be like Rhona and win an Olympic gold medal,” said Martin.
Muirhead had joined the sport of curling when she was nine years old and by the age of 19 she had already won three World Junior Championships. Her dreams of Olympic gold were closer to reality when she was chosen to skip for Great Britain’s curling team in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Sadly, the team didn’t make it out of the group stages.
While curling runs in Muirhead’s blood – her father and two brothers also participate(d) in the sport – she is also a talented golfer. “With golf, it’s tough to make it to the top. I knew from a young age that I had good opportunities to do well in curling,” said Muirhead.
Now it is 2014 and Muirhead is again on Great Britain’s Olympic curling team, this time in Sochi. In an amazing twist of fate for Muirhead, Rhona Martin is the coach of Great Britain’s curling team. The team is a bit different from when Martin played the sport. While Martin was a 36-year-old housewife raising two kids, Muirhead and her teammates Vicki Adams, Claire Hamilton and Anna Sloan are all full-time professionals in their 20s, spending their time at the gym, with nutritionists and psychologists.
These young faces may be helping to change the way people look at curling. Said Muirhead, “A lot of people look at curling and think it’s a sport for the older generation, but that’s not the case and hopefully a lot more young people can get involved.”
One of Muirhead’s former teammates, Jackie Lockhart, believes Great Britain’s curling team has a good chance in Sochi. “Eve has grown up massively over the last four years. She’s still only 23 but she’s very professional on the ice. She is a fiery character who will crucify herself if she doesn’t make a shot 100 percent, and she can’t allow that to happen in the semi-final. She has got to be focused and she is not afraid to make the big shots, which is what will worry Canada skip Jennifer Jones,” said Lockhart.
Great Britain competed against Canada on Wednesday. Canada beat Muirhead and her team 6-4, leaving Great Britain to compete for the bronze medal against Switzerland on Thursday.
Image via YouTube.