As curling fans push through the turnstiles of the South Okanagan Events Centre Jan. 10 to 13, among the talented teams they will watch is skipped by Eve Muirhead.
Competing in the Continental Cup is important to the Scotland skip. Being a large event on her team’s calendar, she said it’s a high priority for them. It will be the second time she competes in it.
“We have to have a good previous season to get considered for selection (only three ladies teams) and we managed this after winning the European championships in 2011,” Muirhead wrote in an email.
At 22, Muirhead has already established a place as one of the most formidable competitors on the international curling scene. Before moving up to the highest echelon of the sport, Muirhead won four gold medals at the World Junior Women’s Curling Championship, three times as skip.
“I have had a very successful junior career which has led onto some successes in the ladies ranks,” she wrote. “Last year I was fortunate enough to be part of the winning team at the Continental Cup so we have been training real hard to try and retain it this year.”
Muirhead loves the big events especially when they get the chance to play in first-class venues. She also said she loves the great crowds Canada has.
Muirhead, who enjoys playing the bagpipes, began curling at age nine.
“It was my dad (Gordon Muirhead) that definately got me into it,” she said. “Since I was very young me and my brother used to go along and watch him compete at a high level and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Curling isn’t the only sport that Muirhead excelled at. She also had opportunities to go to college on a golf scholarship. With the successes in curling, Muirhead decided to stick to the action on the ice.
“I knew after a great junior career I had huge opportunities in curling ahead of me. I wished I picked golf for the money though,” she joked. “I still love to play golf at a social level and often still compete but only a handful of professional golfers make it to the top.”
Muirhead’s father is a former world curling champion has coached her for many years. He coached her to World Junior, Scottish and European championship success.
In five appearances at the European Curling Championships she has won a gold and two silver medals. The gold came in the 2011 championships. Defending the title at the recent European Championships in Karlsbad, Sweden, Muirhead lost the final in an extra end to Russia’s Anna Sidarova. However, it still qualified the team for the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championship in Riga, Latvia.
Muirhead has represented Scotland at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship four times, winning silver in 2010, and skipped Great Britain’s team at the 2010 Olympic Games.
Muirhead will be on the ice in Penticton with teammates Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton as Team World takes on Team North America.