Eve Muirhead reflected on a remarkable change in fortunes after concluding the greatest season of her career by being upgraded to an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
The 32-year-old had looked set to miss out on a place at the Beijing Winter Olympics after making a poor start in the final qualification tournament in Holland in December.
But an extraordinary shift in momentum saw Muirhead’s team turn their campaign around, going on to sweep to gold in Beijing before Muirhead teamed up with Bobby Lammie to also claim the world mixed doubles crown in April.
Muirhead gets an OBE to add to the MBE she received in 2020, while team-mates Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff and Mili Smith, and head coach David Murdoch, each receive an MBE, all for services to curling.
“There were times during this season that I would never have thought what I managed to go on and achieve was possible,” Muirhead told the PA news agency.
“It just goes to show that the team around me never gives up and that you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it.
“I am absolutely delighted to be sharing this honour with my team-mates, because without them there’s no way I could have been in this position.”
Muirhead is currently taking a short break from the sport to consider her options. The next date in her diary is a summer trip to Buckingham Palace to receive the MBE, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“After Beijing things did start to feel different, knowing I’d accomplished something I’d always dreamed of,” Muirhead added. “I’m making the most of a little break and I haven’t thought too much about the future just yet.
“But I can’t see myself stepping away from curling – it has been such a huge part of my life.”
Murdoch, who won an Olympic silver medal in Sochi in 2014 before enjoying double success as head coach of the GB curling squads this year, spoke of the “incredible honour and privilege” of
receiving an MBE.
The 44-year-old, who also steered the GB men’s team to a silver medal in the Chinese capital, said: “It’s something you never think about.
“When I started curling in Lockerbie in the 1980s, curling wasn’t even an Olympic sport – it had no future as a professional sport. So, bearing all that in mind, this kind of honour of out of this world.
“It has been an extremely satisfying year. When I took the job it was very much about leading British curling to the top of the podium, so to see that come to fruition was an incredible moment for me.
“We are currently waiting on the investment process but we have a plan in place to be more successful and we know we can achieve even more.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe