Scottish Curlers to represent Team GB at Olympics!
The British Olympic Association (BOA) today announced the men’s and women’s curling teams for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The ten curlers are the first athletes to officially be selected for Team GB in the upcoming Winter Olympics, and all are Scottish curlers, with the women being skipped by Eve Muirhead and the men by Kyle Smith.
Selected athletes were formally nominated by British Curling to the British Olympic Association for selection to Team GB. Team Muirhead and Team Smith earned their official selection as the leading British men’s and women’s curling teams in the World Curling Tour rankings when the 2017/18 season gets underway.
Team Muirhead, current Scottish Champions and bronze medallists at this year’s World and European Championships, will be aiming to improve on their bronze at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, a result that saw Eve Muirhead enter the record books as the youngest skip to win a curling medal at an Olympic Games.
Muirhead is accompanied by Sochi team mates Anna Sloan (third) and Vicki Adams (second), along with Lauren Gray (lead), who joined the team at the start of the 2016-17 season and was their alternate at Sochi 2014. Two-time Olympian Kelly Schafer (formerly Wood) completes the experienced line-up as alternate.
Team Smith will be making their Olympic debut in PyeongChang. Skip Kyle Smith is joined by Thomas Muirhead – who plays third and is the younger brother of Eve – Kyle Waddell (second) and younger brother Cammy Smith as lead. Glen Muirhead, the eldest of the Muirhead siblings has been selected as their alternate.
Team Smith demonstrated their talent on tour in Canada this year becoming the first British men’s team ever to reach a Grand Slam final (in Cranbrook). A strong start to this season saw them win the OCT Oakville Classic before reaching the knock out stages at both the Stu Sells and Red Deer Classic in Canada, which helped them accumulate their ranking points to become the leading British men’s team. They finished their season with a win over world number one ranked Team Edin (Sweden) in the final of the European Masters.
The team were highly successful at junior level, collecting World Junior Championship bronze in 2012, gold in 2013 and silver the following year. Across the same period the team were also crowned Scottish Junior Champions three years running and won World Universiade silver in 2013.
The Olympic teams have 232 days to prepare for the Games, and will train at the new National Curling Academy in Stirling as well as attending competitions across Europe, North America and Asia.
Top photo: © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik 2017
Bottom photo: © WCF / Richard Gray 2015