Bronze is just the beginning for Great Scot Muirhead
Eve Muirhead is the latest in a long line of talented Scottish curlers. The skip of the 2013 World Championship winning rink, she was the undisputed star of the GB team that went on to win bronze at Sochi 2014.
Eve Muirhead comes from pedigree curling stock. Her father Gordon was a member of the Scottish rink that won the 1999 world title and he competed for Great Britain in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville. As well as being a world-class curler herself, the Scot is also a talented golfer and bagpipe player. As she says of herself: “I would class myself as pretty stubborn when it comes to learning something and not giving up until I'm good at it.” She burst onto the world curling scene at a young age, winning her first world junior title at the age of just 16, and repeated the feat on four further occasions between 2007 and 2011.
Olympic debut in Vancouver
Aged just 19, Muirhead was named as skip for the British team at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. After a good start, her rink lost five games in the round robin stage and failed to reach the play-offs. It was a baptism of fire, but looking back she says: “I don’t think I was too young. I gained so much experience in Vancouver. I’ve got a lot of good memories from 2010. Obviously the results were disappointing; when you look back there are a lot of things we could have done better, but I think we can turn it into a positive.”
Inspired by London 2012
At the inaugural World Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, Muirhead was appointed as an Athlete Role Model, sharing her experience with the young athletes. In July the same year she travelled to London to experience the Olympic Games first hand, and watched her compatriot Jessica Ennis win gold in the heptathlon. The incredible atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium that night inspired Muirhead to increase her efforts in her quest to be a world-class athlete.
2013 world champion
After Vancouver, Muirhead led the Scottish rink to five successive podiums in the European Championships (gold in 2011, silver in 2010, 2013 and 2013 and bronze in 2014). Then in 2013, at the age of 22, she became the youngest ever skip to win the world championship title, as she produced an incredible final stone to take victory 6-5 over Sweden in the final in Riga (LAT).
Muirhead and the rest of her rink – Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton – were the first athletes to be selected to represent Team GB at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Great Britain finished fourth in the round-robin stage at the Ice Cube, with five victories and four defeats, which was enough to take them to the semi-finals. After losing 6-4 to eventual Olympic champions Canada, they went into the third place play-off match against Switzerland.
A fascinating contest came went down to the wire, with the two rinks tied at 5-5 going into the final end. Muirhead, who had the burden of delivering the final stone of the match, held her nerve and placed it in the middle of the house, giving her rink a 6-5 victory and the bronze medal. “It’s good to finish the Games on a high note and win a medal,” she said afterwards. “I would have been disgusted if we’d come away with nothing.”