Callum Smith’s cult following in Scotland has taken on a new wing after he reacted positively to his latest cross-country skiing outing at the Olympics.
While in Sochi, Smith is being supported by friends at the University of Edinburgh with their efforts being mimicked further north in the country.
His Huntly Nordic Ski Club have set up camp in a pub in town called Cheers and he was the only one of the four-strong GB team to appear satisfied yesterday.
The 21-year-old may have only placed 62nd in qualifying for the sprint event, but just two days ago he was competing over 30km instead of 1.8km.
Smith clocked 3:50.13 minutes, while Andrew Musgrave, despite making history to reach the finals, was beating himself up over failing to make it past round one.
Andrew Young bemoaned the conditions and Posy Musgrave struggled with a tough field and course, leaving Smith to revel in his performance – and following.
“We are certainly getting alot more coverage than we generally get, which is great obviously,” said Smith.
“I am really happy with that, that is one of my best sprint results. It is hard to say why I was okay and Andrew and (the other) Andrew struggled.
“You have good days and bad days. They are generally very good sprinters and for them maybe it isn’t their best results, but I am happy with mine. I am still a distance skier. I always do sprints just to do them and occasionally I have good results, but I am distance skier.
“I always intended to do the sprint to sharpen up and get a bit of speed into my legs after moving from a 30km the other day to a 15km after this.
“And it is good to do that as well as have a good race, I am really happy with that.”
Smith also finished 62nd in the 30km skiathlon on Sunday with the 15km classical next on Friday and it was Team Leader Roy Young, who revealed his growing support.
“There is a pub in Huntly called Cheers. One of the members of the Huntly Nordic Ski Club set it up,” said Young.
“But what actually happened was that they heard about the University of Edinburgh setting up the Callum supporters club and thought it would be a good idea to do it in Huntly.
“It will be interesting to see how it has gone. Callum did really well, that is probably one of his best sprints. Certainly in the quality of that field, that will be one of his best sprints ever.”
Meanwhile Vicki Adams made Olympic history as the British women’s curling rink claimed a 12-3 win over the USA to get their campaign going.
Adams helped Britain score an Olympic record of seven points in the fourth end as they moved on from Monday’s defeat to European champions Sweden.
The British rink stick to North American opponents next with Adams, skip Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan and Claire Hamilton facing Canada.
And British skip Muirhead, who delivered the stone to seal the seven points, was full of praise for Adams for setting up such an opportunity.
“I love it when my team play a fantastic end and leave me easy shots like that.
“You will always take a nose hit for a seven and that was definitely the game changer,” she said.
“It was a routine shot for me. That is why we practice twice a day for a couple of hours to make these key shots.
“They are just like any other shot and we practice so when the pressure comes on you make sure you nail that shot because there are no second chances out there.
“For the girls to score seven in their first Olympic win is fantastic – that was definitely the turning point for us in that game.
“To not have the hammer in the first end and still manage to convert it in the next two ends was good and then take advantage in the fourth end and come out with the seven to virtually end the game.”
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