Ahead of the members vote for the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards, we asked members of the SJA Academy to make their case for contenders to win sportsman, sportswoman and team of the year. AISLING HANNON on why Olympic champion Eve Muirhead deserves the prize.
One of the most surprising things about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was the way the British public fell in love with curling.
The skipper of Great Britain’s curling team at said Olympics was Scottish junior world champion Eve Muirhead OBE.
Her team, comprising of Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton, won bronze at that Olympics and although her teammates were different this year, 2022 was the year Muirhead led the team to gold.
It was an impressive comeback after a disappointing fourth place finish at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics but Muirhead’s stern leadership, deep passion for the game and outstanding belief helped to lead the team to success.
It was Muirhead’s fourth Olympic Games, and her final one, as the curling legend called time on her career earlier this year.
And whether or not the 32-year-old has more in the tank, few can say they retired from their sport as the reigning World, European and Olympic champion.
Teaming up with Bobby Lammie for the mixed doubles at the World Championships in Geneva in April proved the perfect way for Muirhead to sign off from the ice, as they beat the hosts 9-7.
Muirhead said: “For myself it’s really special to have competed the full set.
“It’s been a phenomenal year for myself and my girls at home as well so to round it off playing here with Bobby was really special.
“You always want to bow out at the top and to be able to say I can retire as the current world, European and Olympic champion is quite something.
“I couldn’t have ended on a higher note.”
There are plenty of reasons as to why Eve Muirhead deserves the utmost recognition; from making curling a prominent sport in the Olympics, to her inspirational dedication and determination to make young people believe that they can shine at this sport.
Understanding the depths of bringing a sport with little recognition to one of the most popular in its field is certainly worth boundless credit.