Winter Olympics: Eve Muirhead backs Scottish curlers to win three medals in Beijing, with Edinburgh's Bruce Mouat collecting two of them
Team GB flagbearer Eve Muirhead has backed Scotland’s curlers to bring home an incredible haul of three medals from Beijing, with Edinburgh’s Bruce Mouat claiming two of them.
At tomorrow's opening ceremony, Muirhead will be the second curler to carry the flag after Rhona Martin was given the honour at the closing ceremony in 2002 and opening in 2006.
But Muirhead, who will share duties with skier and fellow four-time Olympian Dave Ryding, has her eye on a chunkier slice of British Winter Olympic history in Beijing.
“There’s nothing stopping us coming away with three medals,” said Muirhead.
“Bruce and his men are the best team in the world right now and they’re going to be in the fight with medals.
“Bruce and Jen have made a fantastic start, a dream start, in the doubles and as world champions they’re going in with form.
“My team are capable of beating every single team out there and we’ve done that this season. We’ll have tough matches but we’ve proven we can beat anyone.”
Muirhead is the sole Olympic veteran in the current ten-strong curling crop, but they couldn’t be better equipped with form and experience to deal with the Games scrutiny.
Mouat and Dodds beat world bronze medallist Sweden and reigning Olympic champions Canada in their first two games, showing early mastery of conditions in the Ice Cube despite then slipping to an 8-7 loss to Switzerland.
Skip Muirhead wants to mine her teammate’s knowledge of exactly how the sheets at the repurposed Aquatics Centre will play.
“It’s a massive plus for us that we’ve got two athletes competing in the Ice Cube before us,” she said.
“With Jen and Bruce, there’s a chance to sit down with them before we start and get inside information into the ice conditions. The stones will be different but they will probably react very similarly.
“We’ll make sure to support Jen and Bruce as much as we can while they’re still competing.
“The rest of the teams will hope to get in the arena for all of their matches to be honest. The more curling you watch, the more you learn.”
Muirhead is guiding a young, newly-formed rink at the Olympics, comprised of lead Hailey Duff, second Dodds and third Vicky Wright.
Having made her Olympic debut as a teenager and sealed Sochi silver to become the youngest skip to win an Olympic medal, Muirhead is used to being consulted for cheat codes.
“If I go back to Vancouver, I was one of the youngest in the team but now I’m one of the oldest,” she said.
“It’s funny how things change and a lot of them have asked me advice, different questions about the Olympics. I’m always going to give them that.
“A lot of them ask for one hit of advice and it would be to enjoy the environment, enjoy the experience but know when to switch on and off.
“When you’re in curling mode, it’s all work but you have to relax at times and enjoy what is a great event.”
Muirhead needs no reminding she’s following in the footsteps of a giant in the shape of Martin, whose gold medal 20 years ago in Salt Lake City was the last time Team GB took top step in her sport.
“To be asked to be one of the flagbearers is a dream come true,” she said. “It’s something thing I never dreamt I’d do, and I never dreamt I’d be back at a fourth Olympics.
“It’s been a rollercoaster to get here, a lot of challenges and a lot of highs. I feel very honoured, very privileged, it’s something I’m looking forward to and will never forget.
"Rhona led out the team when she won her gold and to follow on from that and be another curler and a Scot to do that is very special."
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