Edinburgh council worker's dreams of representing Jamaica at curling at Winter Olympics
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An Edinburgh council worker hopes to represent Jamaica as part of its first curling team at the Winter Olympics in 2026 in Italy, just a year after he first stepped on to Murrayfield Ice Rink to try the sport for the first time.
City of Edinburgh Council residential care officer Luke Samuels, 38, was inspired after watching the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on television and told his wife Morgan that he wanted to play for the country of his late granddad Edwin Luther Samuels, who was one of the very first to travel from the Caribbean island to the UK on the Windrush in June 1948.
Luke, who now plays for 37 Club at Murrayfield, is planning to travel to Canada to join up with the Jamaica team, who train there and are starting out in the sport having been accepted as the 67th member of the World Curling Federation in September last year.
He said: "I took it up last year. That was my first time on the ice. I was always interested in watching it on TV, and I said to my wife ‘I’m going to take curling up and represent Jamaica’. She just laughed in my face. Initially I reached out to Curling Jamaica, before I had even played it! From then I got a beginners course and I now play for a team. I love it. I practice on my own as well.
"I think I’m a natural at the sport. I had a session with a Curling Edinburgh coach at Murrayfield and he said I was good. The season ended recently but I'm planning to go out to Canada to join the Jamaica team. They are made up of players born in Jamaica or have dual nationality like myself.
"Our plan is to get a curling arena built in Jamaica, we are still looking for sponsors and have spoken to some big companies. We want to get to the Winter Olympics in 2026. The team only started last September, so it’s really new, but we are allowed to play competitive games and have done so already.”
Father of three Luke hopes to represent Jamaica in memory of his granddad Edwin, who passed away when Luke was 19.
Luke added: "I only got into the squad last month. I’ve not even met the team yet, but they have seen videos of my curling. I will be the first Jamaican European in the team. We have got another meeting next month to discuss travel plans and sponsorship.
"As soon as I get the go-ahead to meet up with them I’m ready to go. I have got several days’ holidays from work stored up so I’m willing to jump on a plane as soon as the plans are sorted. I just hope we get into the Winter Olympics. It would be a dream come true.
"My granddad came to the UK on the Windrush, I owe this to him, I’m doing it in his memory. I was really close to him. That’s why my Jamaican influence is so strong. I have been there a number of times and try to get back every other year. I have family and friends there that I visit in the parish of St Ann.
"This whole curling dream has happened really quickly, but there is still a long way to go to get to the Winter Olympics as part of the Jamaica curling team.”