Meet the Team GB curlers for PyeongChang 2018

  • Team GB photos: © Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart

In the run-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea we celebrate the success of the curling qualifiers heading to the Games in (8-25) February.

In the coming weeks and months, we will speak to the athletes that have been selected or qualified to represent their Member Association in the Gangneung Curling Centre, in just shy of 200 days’ time.

Rather than sticking to the traditional questions, we asked the athletes questions that may have never been asked until now. Do you want to know Niklas Edin’s favourite rom-com? What Anna Sidorova has for breakfast? Look no further as we profile our qualified athletes.

We begin our series with the Team GB athletes who were selected in June 2017. Representing Great Britain in the women’s curling tournament at the Games is 2014 Olympic Winter Games bronze medallists, Team Muirhead – skip Eve Muirhead, third Anna Sloan, second Vicki Adams, lead Lauren Gray and alternate Kelly Schafer. Gray and Schafer are new to this team, since Sochi 2014.

The men’s team, Team Smith, will make their first Olympic appearance in PyeongChang. They are skip Kyle Smith, third Thomas Muirhead, second Kyle Waddell, lead Cammy Smith and alternate Glen Muirhead.

The two teams earned their official selection as the leading British men’s and women’s Curling Rinks in the World Curling Tour rankings.

In this article, we speak to the skips, Eve Muirhead – who is the youngest curling skip to win an Olympic medal – and Kyle Smith – who became the first British men’s skip to lead his team to a Grand Slam of Curling final, during the 2016-2017 season. He achieved this feat in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, in what was also the first all-European Grand Slam final – his opponent was Swedish skip Niklas Edin.

Eve Muirhead: @Team_Muirhead

Q What is your guilty pleasure?

A Mine has to be Thai food! Love it, especially after an event of hard work. A couple of the girls love pizza and chocolate. Especially Vicki (pictured below right with Lauren Gray [left], © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik), she's a chocoholic!!

Q What music do you listen to prior to events?

A We try to always have a playlist for events – all the latest chart music and sometimes some country thrown in too – especially when in Canada!

Q Where's the best place you have visited as a curler?

A We are lucky enough to travel all over the world as a curling team. The best place in Europe has to be Champéry in Switzerland. It's lovely! Especially in the skiing season with snow on the mountains. Around the world, Japan is my favourite. Love the food there, friendly people and great shopping!

Q What career would you have if you weren't a curler?

A When I was younger I always wanted to be in the police. I also have a personal training certificate so this was an industry I wanted to be involved in.

Q Who is the joker of the team?

A I'd say we all like to joke around. We as a team know when it's good to be serious and when to have fun! When you’re with each other so much we always try to have a laugh.
Q Who is the most serious member of the team? 

A Probably me (pictured above, © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik)! Being the skip it's important I make all the right decisions 

Q Greatest achievement as a rink? 

A Bronze medal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics 

Kyle Smith: @Team_Smith13
Q What is your guilty pleasure?

A Step Brothers is our favourite movie!

Q What music do you listen to prior to events?

A The View, Avicii, anything decent really. We also download anything current in the charts and Cammy – my brother – will listen to some country music as well.

Q Where's the best place you have visited as a curler?

A I would say Canada is the best place we have visited for a few different reasons, mainly due to how serious the sport is there and it helps with the language being the same (other than Quebec!) and the people are so friendly it makes you feel like you’re home. We really enjoyed our time in Oakville, Ontario last year – it’s one of the best places we have visited. We, also enjoyed Sochi for the World Juniors and seeing the last Olympic set up there gave us a taste for the big arenas for major competitions.

Q What career would you have if you weren't a curler?

A All of us apart from Kyle Waddell would be involved in farming in one way or another. Kyle would be involved in sports coaching.
Q Who is the joker of the team?

A We have a great mixture of personalities in our team and we all like to have a joke to be honest, however Cammy (pictured above, © WCF / Laura Godenzi) our lead is probably the biggest joker. We all like to have fun and we are quite a relaxed team.

Q What do you do in your spare time to relax?

A If we are in competition it is either, Netflix, play cards, swim, something along those lines. Away from competition we watch movies or catch up with friends.

Q Greatest achievement as a rink?

A Being selected to represent GB at the next Olympic Winter Games is the greatest achievement for our rink to date, but from a competition point of view probably being the first Scottish men’s rink to reach the final of a Grand Slam last season. Previously having won gold at the World Juniors was a hugely important result for our career.

Q What team do you have the most fun with on and off the sheet?

A On tour, there is a lot of camaraderie among the different nations as we are all going to the same places and events each year so you get to know all the teams quite well. Everyone is obviously there to win but have fun as well. We spend a lot of time with our Scottish teams as well as Sweden.
Kyle Smith competing at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015, © WCF / Laura Godenzi

To follow the build-up to the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #Roadto2018 #curling

by Michael Houston, feature writer