20 February 2022

Today at the Winter Olympics: British women’s curling team win gold on final day

20 February 2022

Eve Muirhead achieved her lifelong ambition of leading her women’s curling team to Olympic gold as Great Britain ended a disappointing Beijing Games with a flourish on the final day.

In her fourth Winter Games, the 31-year-old Muirhead and her team of Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds and Hailey Duff, plus alternate Mili Smith, dominated their final against Japan, ruthlessly sealing a 10-3 win.

While they won two curling medals – the males took silver 24 hours earlier – they were Britain’s only top-three finishes across the entirety of the Winter Olympics which is sure to raise questions of funding going forwards.

Star of the day

Eve Muirhead was instrumental in Great Britain’s only gold medal of these Winter Olympics (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Unquestionably Muirhead. Her road to Beijing itself had been scattered with setbacks, from failing to secure an initial place in Beijing through last year’s World Championships to a torrid start to the final qualifying tournament that saw them teetering on the brink of elimination.

But the joint-biggest winning margin in a final since the sport was reintroduced in 1998 completed a remarkable journey for Muirhead.

She was the youngest skip to win a curling world title in 2013 but had only a bronze medal from 2014 – and bronze medal heartbreak against the same Japanese team four years ago – to show for three previous Olympic quests.

Quote of the day

I think you probably liken us to a wounded lion. We will go away and we will lick our wounds.

Munday added “the last two weeks have not altered our ambition to become an even greater force in winter sport”, but British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Anson acknowledged that there will need to be tough discussions and decisions ahead for those sports and athletes who failed to hit their respective medal targets.

“We don’t want to hide away from the fact that there will be sports and athletes going home who will be disappointed with the way things have gone out here,” said Anson.

“I don’t think we can pretend that’s not the case. We’d probably like to see more strong performances, more medal performances than we did.”

Picture of the day

Eve Muirhead is finally an Olympic gold medal winner (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Social media moment

Officials from Milan-Cortina were prominent in Beijing and no doubt left sure in the knowledge that when the Winter Olympics head to Italy in four years’ time, the logistical issues that afflicted Beijing will surely be a thing of the past.

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