Eve Muirhead, Edinburgh's Jen Dodds and Team GB women win Winter Olympic curling gold

Skip Eve Muirhead, Edinburgh’s Jen Dodds and their Team GB women’s curling teammates have won Winter Olympic gold in Beijing.

Along with Vicky Wright and Hayley Duff, the Scottish quartet thrashed Japan 10-3 in a one-sided women’s final to end Team GB’s 20-year wait for curling gold.

It is Britain’s second medal of the Games after Edinburgh’s Bruce Mouat and his men’s curling team collected silver.

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It’s also the first gold medal won by a Scottish athlete at any Winter Olympics since Rhona Martin’s famous ‘Stone of Destiny’ secured victory for Team GB’s women curlers at Salt Lake City in 2002.

Muirhead, 31, skipped Team GB’s women to bronze in Sochi in 2014, but Japanese skip Sayaka Yoshimura beat her to bronze on the final stone in PyeongChang four years ago.

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Competing in her four Winter Olympics, Muirhead got her revenge on Yoshimura when it really mattered in Beijing.

It was a dominant performance by Team GB, who led from start to finish.

Eve Muirhead, Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff and reserve Mili Smith of Team Great Britain celebrate after defeating Japan in the women's gold medal match

Dodds, 30, played a key role. She started curling as a child at Gogar Park Curling Club in the Capital.

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“I don’t think it’s going to sink in for a while,” she said. “I’m speechless.

“I’m so proud of these girls and the way they played in that final and the whole week. We built on every game, we got more confidence every game.

“Hopefully that was slightly less stressful that the semi-final for all our families.”

Great Britain's Eve Muirhead, Vicky Wright, Hailey Duff and Jennifer Dodds celebrate winning gold
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Muirhead, who was in tears on the podium, said: "Without these girls being so strong, this dream would not have come true.

"They helped me become a better curler, and a better person.

"Together we are a very, very strong unit and I think today we proved that."

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Edinburgh's Jennifer Dodds, right, celebrates a good stone during the women's final against Japan

The path to gold has been a rocky one.

Following a failure to make the Olympic qualifying slots at last year's World Championships in Calgary, where Muirhead skipped a Scottish rink to eighth place, they were some strong words exchanged in the camp.

Wright come home wondering whether her Olympic ambitions were over, immediately returning to her full-time job at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert as the pandemic took grip.

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She hailed the leadership of Muirhead for rallying the team, leading them to the European title in November and through a tense Olympic qualifying campaign.

Muirhead’s team didn’t find it any easier in Beijing either, their run to the final already being dubbed the ‘Mira-curl on Ice’. They edged through the round robins by the barest of margins and won their semi-final despite their coach, David Murdoch, giving less than a 10 percent chance after a horror first end.

"Everything that has happened has made us a lot stronger," said Wright.

Eve Muirhead celebrates with Jenn Dodds after scoring four points in the seventh end
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"We started the season as a nine-man squad and that gradually slimmed down, which is pretty stressful. We've had some tough times but we've come through stronger.”

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Edinburgh's Jenn Dodds of Team GB competes during the women's gold medal match against Japan