Lauren Gray Joins Team GB for Sochi 2014
The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the curling alternate selected for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as Lauren Gray. Gray joins Eve Muirhead, Claire Hamilton, Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams as they look to add Olympic gold in 2014 to their 2013 world title and 2013 European silver medal.
• Lauren Gray – alternate
• Eve Muirhead – skip
• Claire Hamilton – lead
• Vicki Adams – second
• Anna Sloan – third
Muirhead’s rink have been competing together in senior competitions since the 2011-12 season, winning the European title and finishing sixth in their first World Championship. They built on that success with wins at the World Championship and Players’ Championship last season and a silver at the Europeans this season.
Now all in their early 20s, the rink have been competing together for seven years in various teams throughout their junior careers. Gray started her curling career at the age of eight and is no stranger to the Olympic environment having won gold playing second at the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in 2009. She was part of the rink that won gold at the World University Games in 2011 and was crowned world junior champion in 2012.
After winning the World Championships as alternate with Eve Muirhead at the start of the year, Lauren completed her university degree over the summer. On the same day she was formally selected for Sochi, she graduated with a 2:1 in English Literature and Politics from Glasgow University.
Team GB have won two curling gold medals at past Olympic Winter Games, the most recent as Rhona Howie (previously known as Rhona Martin) skipped her rink to victory in a nail-biting final against Switzerland at the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics. Howie is now the current women’s Head Coach and is hoping to use her experience to guide the rink to success in Sochi.
On her selection Lauren Gray commented:
“I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to represent Team GB in Sochi. I have been working extremely hard since the last Olympic cycle to achieve as much as I can within the curling circuit to give myself the best possible chance of being selected for Sochi.
“I was honoured to be picked by British Curling to be Team Muirhead’s alternate at the World Championships earlier this year and more recently at the European Championships. I’m hoping that these experiences have given me the tools to support the girls in any way needed to help them achieve their Olympic dreams.
“I’m privileged to have been invited to join one of the best curling teams in the world on their journey to success in Sochi. I’m looking forward to the hard work this selection will entail!”
Team GB’s Chef de Mission for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Mike Hay said:
“I am delighted to welcome Lauren Gray to Team GB and the curling team that will be competing at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Lauren was part of the team that secured the gold medal at the World Championships and silver at the European Champs last month.
“The women’s curling team clearly has medal potential and is certainly one to watch in Sochi.”
Team GB Curling Team Leader Dave Crosbee commented:
“ Lauren has done a fantastic job as part of the successful teams at the 2013 World and European Championships, so it is great that we are in a position to nominate another strong athlete to the British Olympic Association to represent Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. We look forward to continuing to support Lauren and the rest of the team in their preparations, and put them in the best position possible to challenge for the greatest prize in any Olympic athlete’s career.”
British Curling Women’s Head Coach Rhona Howie added:
“Being chosen to represent one’s country and Team GB at the Olympics is the highlight of any athlete’s career and I’d like to congratulate Lauren on her well deserved selection as alternate.
“I am proud to be their Head Coach and look forward to helping the team continue on their journey to the Games, with the help and support of a number of partners including British Curling, The Royal Caledonian Curling Club, UK Sport, the sportscotland institute of sport and the National Lottery.”
Photo courtesy of The British Olympic Association