We’re just under two weeks away from the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games which are to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There’s special interest to sports fans in Perthshire as no fewer than six winter sports athletes from the area will jet out to the Far East to represent Team GB, with Chef de Mission Mike Hay also hailing from the Fair City.
And one event in particular really is a family affair. The men’s curling ‘Team Smith’ includes two sets of siblings – the Smiths (Kyle skip, and Cammy third) and the Muirheads (Thomas second, and Glen alternate). They are joined by Kyle Waddell to make up a team that might be making an Olympic debut but one that has the ability to do very well in the competition.
For brothers Kyle and Cammy, being on the same team and representing their country is an exciting opportunity and one that they have both been dreaming of ever since they started out on the ice at Dewars Centre. It’s a brilliant honour and something that I’ve wanted to do my entire curling career. I can’t wait to pull the ‘Smith GB’ top on and get on that ice!
Kyle: “It’s a brilliant honour and something that I’ve wanted to do my entire curling career. I can’t wait to pull the ‘Smith GB’ top on and get on that ice!"
Cammy: “To get the phone call saying we had been selected had me over the moon, as it was the realisation of a lifelong goal to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. We’re just eager to get on the ice now!”
Kyle: “There are some nerves but I think it’s good to feel nervous – that’s the reason I play the game because of how it brings the best out in me. I’m very excited to get started and compete at my first Olympic Games.
The team certainly has the ability to go to Pyeongchang and compete, and Team Smith will certainly be looked at as one of the potential medals for Team GB. That’s not something that either Kyle or Cammy are thinking too much about though, as they are taking it one game at a time with the view of making the semi-finals where anything can happen.
Cammy: “As a team we’re very good at taking the games stone by stone. If we focus on our preparation and what’s happening in the present, we will go out there and enjoy the experience and perform at our best. If we do this we should be there or thereabouts to make the knockout stages.”
Kyle: “We are going there to give it all we have. I have practiced and trained for this event for as long as I can remember, so I feel ready and I’m looking forward to representing Team GB to the best of my ability.
“We take it one game at a time and hopefully we can thing qualify for the semi-finals – from there it’s a whole new competition and who knows what can happen!”
Team Smith was confirmed as the men’s curling representatives for Team GB back in June last year, and since then they’ve been preparing themselves for the moment they first step out on to the ice on February 14th when they take on Switzerland in their opening match.
Cammy: “We’ve been preparing for the last four years to get into this position! We’ve been down to Manchester to collect all of our kit which was a great experience, and we’ve had a big media day too. Now it’s all on the ice and in the gym putting the finishing touches to our game.
“I’m really excited and proud to be going to the Olympics with my brother and the team, and I can’t wait to finally experience it for myself having watched it on the TV every four years!”
Kyle: “Preparations have been similar to what we had for the European Championships earlier this season. We used that as a trial run for the Olympics, so we’re trying to replicate that as much as possible. I think we’re in a great position and we’ve had some quality ice sessions and we’re working well together.”
The Team GB Chef de Mission is Perthshire’s own Mike Hay – a former World Championship silver-medallist curler himself – and back in September he spoke to Small City about Team Smith and Team Muirhead’s selection to represent Great Britain in Pyeongchang. I’ve absolutely no doubt that Eve and Kyle’s teams will be great ambassadors for the game and for the City of Perth.
“I know that the competition is going to be very tough but both teams have the potential to make the playoffs. Eve and her team have an impressive international record and she’ll want to improve on her bronze four years ago.
“Kyle and his young team don’t have the same international experience that some of their rivals may have but I think they might surprise a few people – they have a very impressive game.
“Every four years, the curling gets huge coverage from the Winter Olympics and I’ve absolutely no doubt that Eve and Kyle’s teams will be great ambassadors for the game and for the City of Perth.
“Winning a medal will make all the difference in bringing youngsters into the local rink at Dewars and hopefully it could inspire the next generation of Olympians from Perth!”
Everybody here at Small City would like to wish our local athletes all the best in Pyeongchang. Kyle and Cammy Smith (curling), Eve, Thomas and Glen Muirhead (curling) and Charlie Guest (slalom skiing) are doing a fantastic job representing our region and we’ll be watching on as they do us proud over in South Korea.
The Winter Olympics start with the opening ceremony on February 9th and will be shown on the BBC.
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