British curler Jen Doods says women’s skip Eve Muirhead deserves all the attention she gets, claiming she has helped to revolutionise the sport in the UK.
The women’s team is currently competing at the European Curling Championships in Lillehammer, as they look to play themselves into form ahead of the Winter Olympic qualifying event in the Netherlands next month.
Muirhead has been at the last three Games; she won bronze at Sochi 2014 - and along with Rhona Martin’s 2002 gold medal winning team and the silver claimed by David Murdoch in 2014 - is credited for raising the profile of curling.
Mouat leads Scots in European Curling Champs final
“Eve has every right to be in the limelight, she's done so much for curling as a whole and in Great Britain,” Dodds told Eurosport.
She's been to so many Olympic Games, she's won at every level, she deserves to be there, she's done so much for the sport. We've played together for the last couple of seasons, I can see the amount of dedication and hard work she puts into the sport, so she deserves to be there.
Curling explainer: What are the rules? How does the scoring work?
The women’s team has changed its selection process for Beijing, with nine players being whittled down to five in order to select those in the best form. But Dodds can already look forward to the Games, having earned selection for the mixed doubles on the back of winning World Championships gold with Bruce Mouat earlier this year.
- ‘I’ve got a bit of a poker face’ - Why iceman Mouat is Britain’s best medal hope in Beijing
- Curlers Mouat and Dodds among first Team GB athletes selected for Winter Olympics
- Beijing 2022 Olympic Games: Schedule, big names, key events and more
“We met each other when Bruce was seven so that's almost 20 years ago. First and foremost, we got to know each other as really good friends, and then we became teammates,” she said.
The communication and dynamics was just so natural to us. We can have those honest conversations that we need to and that's what you need to do in a good team.
“Bruce has had a great last couple of seasons in mixed doubles and with his men's team. He's shown how consistent he is and that gives us really good confidence going into the Olympics.”
Mouat’s men’s team have been in sublime form in recent years, having won world silver in Calgary this year, and they are regarded as a genuine medal hope in Beijing. But the best chance of success could come in the mixed event, given the chemistry between Dodds and Mouat.
“Myself and Bruce had never really competed on the international stage before together, that was actually my first mixed doubles world appearance. We were almost going into the unknown a wee bit, we didn't know where we stood on the world stage but knew if we played to our best we'd have a good shot.
“Going forward it's going to be a challenge and we'll need to play our best, other teams are going to raise their game against us now, we've almost got a target on our backs. But that just gives us more fuel to keep working as hard as we can.”
Scotland's Team Muirhead reach European Curling Championships final
Scotland bounce back with thumping win at European Curling Championships